Broccoli rabe, bacon… need I say more?

Bacon seems to be doing pretty well these days, showing up in everything from mayonnaise to chocolate to my refrigerator.  Lately Anne Burrell’s lentils with bacon recipe has been one of my dinnertime staples, in addition to special occasion crowd pleasers like  cassoulet, the ultimate wintertime French comfort food.  I’ve been getting a really amazing double-smoked bacon from Fair Food Farmstand, but right now I have some really good stuff in my fridge from my buying club, Philadelphia Winter Harvest.  Anyway, another longtime staple of mine is Heidi Swanson’s harissa spaghettini, but her veggieness doesn’t really mesh well with my bacon kick, so I decided to take the recipe in a decidedly non-kosher direction.

Mildly pornographic.

That bowl looks familiar...

Harissa Spaghetti with Broccoli Rabe and Bacon

1 pound of spaghettini, spaghetti, or linguine (the point is long, thin noodles here)
1 bunch broccoli rabe, chopped
a couple slices of bacon, depending on how thick your bacon is and how much you like bacon (I used four fairly thin slices)
2 or 3 fat cloves of garlic
1/2 cup harissa, plus more to your liking
olive oil
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
freshly grated parmiggiano reggiano, pecorino romano, or ricotta salata

  1. Cook pasta according to package blah blah you should know this part by now.
  2. Slice bacon into lardons, which just means 1/2 inch crosswise strips.
  3. Put bacon in cold skillet, slowly raise heat.  Cook bacon until just crispy with most of the fat rendered.
  4. Add garlic, cook until just golden.
  5. Add broccoli rabe, cook until just wilted.  You may have to do this in batches, but if you’re impatient like me, you’ll just cram it in there.
  6. In a large saucepan or dutch oven, heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil.  Add harissa, and spread it around the bottom of the pan until it’s heated through.
  7. Add broccoli rabe, garlic, bacon, and pasta to the pan, toss it all around until everything is slathered with harissa.  Top it all off with the toasted pine nuts and cheese.  Devour.

Can you guys believe it?  That’s TWO North African-inspired recipes in as many days!  After I posted the salade de deux choux recipe last night, Naoko IMed me to say I should start a cooking blog.  But why have multiple blogs?  I like to think of this as a lifestyle blog, not unlike Gwyneth Paltrow’s.  The main difference, of course, is that you won’t find William Joel’s favorite cookie recipe here.

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About droyles

Historian of the recent American past.
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