Saturday, February 23, 2019

Penne with Bacon and Onion

Last week the weather gods rather unceremoniously decided to dump nearly 10 inches of snow on us. The MSP airport closed, which essentially never happens up here in the tundra. It was not a day fit for man or beast. So instead of making my way to the store for meal ingredients, I turned to my pantry. Dinner that night would only need three main ingredients: bacon, pasta and onion. I always keep two to three pounds of applewood smoked bacon in my freezer. A couple of hours in a cold water bath is sufficient to thaw the bacon.

My pantry is always stocked with all different shapes of pasta. I buy my pasta by the case from Amazon. For penne, I always buy Barilla Collezione. It's their artisanal line of pastas that are shaped on brass plates. The pasta is thick, has ridges that hold the sauce and is incredibly chewy when cooked al dente.

And I always have several sweet yellow onions on hand. I used to buy them in bulk from Costco. But alas, as empty nesters, we would always end up throwing spoiled onions out. So now I just buy a few at a time from the grocery store. So that's it. Three main ingredients from the pantry and dinner was on the table.

1-pound applewood smoked bacon, cut into 1-inch slices
1-pound penne pasta
1 whole yellow onion, diced
1 cup grated parmesan cheese


  1. In a large Dutch oven, cook bacon until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a  paper towel.
  2. Reserve all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat.
  3. Sauté onions in bacon fat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and set Dutch oven and onions aside.
  4. Bring 4 quarts of water and 3 tablespoons of salt to a boil and cook pasta to al dente.
  5. Return Dutch oven to stove top and heat. Add drained penne and cooked bacon to the onions and stir until all ingredients are warm. If too dry, add a little reserved bacon fat. Then serve with parmesan cheese.

Wine pairing: Bacon and Pinot Noir...a match made in heaven

Grogs and Goldie, 1956

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