Fettuccine with Bacon and Kale
5 slices of bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (cooking shears work wonders with this prep)
8 oz of kale, center rib removed, leaves coarsely chopped
8 oz fettuccine
3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for garnishing
Fresh ground nutmeg for garnishing
Bring 4 or 5 quarts of water to a boil.
While that is going on, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat for about 5 - 8 minutes, until the bacon is lightly browned and most of the fat is rendered. Remove the bacon for the skillet and place on a paper towel lined plate to drain, reserving the bacon fat in the skillet.
Once the water has come to a boil, add salt and the kale. Cook, uncovered for about 5 minutes then using a slotted spoon transfer the blanched kale to a colander to drain.
Return the water to a boil. Add the pasta, stirring to separate and cook until al denta, according to the directions on the package.
Meanwhile, add enough olive oil to the bacon fat in the skillet to measure 2 or 3 TB. Heat for about 30 seconds or so, over medium heat or until the fat begins to shimmer. Add the kale, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes, tossing to coat. Cook for about 3 minutes, tossing and stirring occasionally.
Return the bacon the skillet along with the chicken stock and let simmer until warm, about a minute or two.
When the pasta is cooked, reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and return to the pot, over low heat.
Add the kale and bacon mixture to the pasta and toss to combine. Add the cheese and about 1/4 cup of pasta water to thin the sauce as desired.
Serve immediately, garnishing with a bit of freshly grated nutmeg (not much...a little goes a long way) and more grated cheese.
Pairs Well With
This a wonderful recipe from Bacon Nation. It allows the bacon to be a supporting actor rather than playing the leading roll. Delicious and easy.