This is the kind of dish you make on a quiet night when you can have a glass of wine while you cook, enjoying the rhythm of chopping and stirring. I almost always have music going when I’m at home and something about music and wine and the smell of shallots and garlic cooking make for the loveliest experience. If, like me, you are also trying to navigate homework and chores and breaking up sibling altercations all at the same time, just turn the music up, I find it really helps.
This is a quick recipe, it doesn’t take much time at all. It’s a little decadent and the flavors of the asparagus and garlic, bacon and basil all mixed together with cheese and a little salt and pepper beg to be savored. So if you can, slow down and enjoy, but don’t feel obligated to share with your kids.
Primavera with Asparagus, Bacon and Garlic
- 8 ounces spaghetti noodles
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 ½ cups asparagus, washed and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 pieces center-cut bacon
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 cup Beecher’s Flagship cheese, shredded (parmesan is a good substitute)
- sliver of softened butter (1 teaspoon ish)
- 3 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
- Salt and pepper
Bring a heavily salted pot of water to boil over high heat. Stir in spaghetti noodles and lower the heat to medium. Cook noodles for about 8 minutes until al dente. Drain and set aside. Not to get on a soap box, but don’t rinse your pasta after it’s done cooking. Chop bacon into very small pieces. In a pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Cook bacon for 3 or 4 minutes until firm and just starting to cook through. Add shallot and cook for 5 minutes and then add minced garlic to the pan and cook for 2 more minutes. Stir in asparagus and salt and pepper the mixture liberally. Cook for 5 minutes or until the asparagus is bright green, softened but still firm. Turn the heat to low and mix in the spaghetti noodles, tossing to make sure the bacon and asparagus mix into the noodles well. Turn the heat off and gently stir in the cheese and a sliver of butter until it all melts and covers the pasta mixture completely. Transfer to bowls, top with basil and serve immediately.