Asparagus, Braised Bacon, Scallions & Spaghetti


Judges ought to be more leaned than witty, more reverent than plausible, and more advised than confident. Above all things, integrity is their portion and proper virtue. Francis Bacon 
 And you thought I would add a quote about bacon, well I did, Francis Bacon, at any rate, I made the braised bacon from Molly Stevens All about Braising and she was right it can be used in all sorts of dishes, last night in a quick pasta dish for two adapted from one of her recipes that calls for bacon.   

Spaghetti with Asparagus and Bacon
Adapted Molly Stevens recipe
Spaghetti with Asparagus and Bacon
Serves 4-6
 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 slices thick-cut braised and broiled bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 bunch scallions, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup dry white wine
 1-1/2  pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 pound spaghetti
1/2 cup freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
1/2-3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan, plus more for serving
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a spaghetti pot of well-salted water to a boil.
Combine the oil and bacon in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Cook until almost crisp, about 7 minutes. Add the scallions (leaving the bacon and fat in the pan), and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender and beginning to brown in spots, about 4 more minutes. Add the white wine and bring to a boil, scraping with a wooden spoon to dislodge any caramelized bits. Simmer for 1 minute, then remove from the heat and set aside.

When the water boils, drop in the asparagus and cook until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer the asparagus with a slotted spoon to a colander to drain. Rinse with cold water and set aside to drain.

Return the water to a rapid boil and add the pasta. Boil until al dente, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water. Heat the bacon and wine mixture over medium-high heat. Add the drained pasta, the asparagus, and a few tablespoons of the reserved pasta cooking water. Toss to combine. If the pasta seems dry, add a bit more pasta cooking water. Add the parsley, lemon zest, cheese and a generous amount of black pepper, and toss well. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve in warm bowls, topping each with additional freshly ground black pepper, parmesan, and optional red pepper flakes . 

Asparagus, Braised Bacon & Scallions