Spring… in a Bowl with Bacon

12 May

Though the weather has taken a turn in a cooler and gloomier direction this week, the beautiful weekends we’ve had the past few weeks have made me want to get in the kitchen and whip up fresh and Springy meals to be enjoyed on decks and roof tops.  Sitting on my roof with a bottle of wine and a home cooked meal is my favorite new way to eat out.

Recently Rob and I made a pasta dish that would be perfect dining al fresco. Fettuccine packed with fresh veggies and herbs: asparagus, peas,  green onions, basil and parsley (oh my), all in a light and lemony cream sauce, and there is bacon (and lord knows you give this girl springtime and bacon and you will have one very happy camper).  We really enjoyed it. So as soon as these rain clouds clear hop in the kitchen and whip it up yourself then get outside and dig in on your roof… front porch… deck… picnic table… neighborhood park… balcony….

Spring in a Bowl

Fettuccine with Peas Asparagus and Bacon
Bon Appetit, May 2010

Yield: Makes 4 servings
Active Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes


12 ounces fettuccine or penne
3 ounces pancetta or bacon, chopped
1 1/4 pounds asparagus, trimmed, cut on diagonal into 1-inch pieces
2 cups shelled fresh green peas, blanched 1 minute in boiling water, drained, or frozen peas (do not thaw)
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced, white and pale green parts separated from dark green parts
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil, divided


Cook pasta in pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot.

Meanwhile, cook pancetta in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 teaspoon drippings from skillet. Add asparagus to drippings in skillet; sauté 3 minutes. Add peas, white and pale green parts of green onions, and garlic; sauté until vegetables are just tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Add vegetable mixture, 1/4 cup pasta cooking liquid, dark green parts of green onions, 1/2 cup Parmesan, cream, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon peel, half of parsley, and half of basil to pasta. Toss, adding more cooking liquid by tablespoonfuls if needed. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer to large bowl. Sprinkle pancetta, remaining parsley, and basil over. Serve, passing additional Parmesan cheese


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