At the end of a long, harried, and hurried workday, wouldn’t it be nice to have your relaxing evening at home begin with the smell of bacon? Bacon is a happy smell; it’s the smell of weekend breakfasts at home which, as states of mind go, is preferable to just about any other I can think of.
This meal starts with bacon, and ends with a pleasant sigh as you remember fondly the comforting flavors of slow-cooked onions, cauliflower, rosemary, parmesan cheese — and the aforementioned bacon — as they merged so perfectly with the texture of the buttery pasta. Ah yes, the day just got a whole lot better now, didn’t it?
Take your time as you make this dish. You want the cauliflower and onions to cook the old way, slowly, unhurriedly, so that they soften and caramelize and reward you with mellow flavors that no quickie stir-fry can ever approach. Have a glass (or two) of your favorite wine while you make this. Put your feet up between stirrings. Exhale the rush of day – and inhale the calm of evening.
Here’s how to make the Easy Cauliflower and Bacon Pasta With Carmelized Onions:
6 oz thick cut bacon or pancetta
1 large onion, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 lb cauliflower florets (thawed frozen cauliflower is fine)
2 Tbsp chicken stock or water
1 tsp dried rosemary, lightly crushed
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp salt
8 oz penne or other pasta
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp minced parsley
1/4 cup grated parmesan
Cut the bacon into 1/2 inch pieces and saute over medium heat in a large skillet until crisp. Remove the bacon pieces and pour off all but 2 Tbsp of the bacon fat. Add the onions and garlic to the pan and cook slowly until onions are softened and transparent.
Stir in the cauliflower, rosemary, red pepper flakes, and salt. Cover and cook slowly over medium-low heat 20 – 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is very soft and onions are nearly dissolved. (Add a little more chicken stock or water if cauliflower gets too dry.)
While the cauliflower is cooking, cook the pasta in salted water according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.
To serve, toss the pasta with the butter, parsley and parmesan. Distribute the pasta among the serving plates and mound the cauliflower on top.
Serves 4 as a pasta course or 2 as a meal.
Please join us tomorrow to read our newest daily food feature, New Vidalia Onion Brochure Features Hugging The Coast Onion Ring Recipes! (Plus enjoy a new recipe for Delicious Vidalia Onion, Bacon, and Cranberry Pinwheels.)
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