Sometimes things come up and afterward the way that they come up is never remembered the same way by the people involved. Take the woodturners' holiday party last week. It was going to be held at the shop where meetings are held and families were welcome to attend. The thing is that we are the only family with a small child. My recollection is that we discussed it and that we agreed that while Fearless Toddler would probably enjoy meeting all the people there would be far too much temptation in a strange and un-childproofed woodshop for a tiny will to resist, and that there would probably be little food that either she or I would be able to eat with our food allergies. The morning of the party my husband seemed to have changed his mind and to have wanted to bring her along, but have been content to leave me at home to knit in peace. Then at about twelve thirty he seemed to have changed his mind again and seemed to expect me to come too, and oh by the way this is a potluck and he forgot to buy something that he was planning to make yesterday.
For a six o'clock party.
Now I would bet money that his recollection of events is very, very different from my recollection as described above, and reality is probably somewhere different still with components from each. At any event, it is fortuitous that I a) had fewer people show up for Sunday dinner than expected, b) had been ill during the previous week and c) could quickly thaw some of the frozen bacon I had downstairs in the deep-freeze. This is what I threw together. I actually kind of liked it - I guess I should, since it was all made from things I had on hand because I liked them. You can reduce your cost per serving by not using the super-expensive beef and duck bacon.
Pasta Salad with Bacon, Broccolini and Green Cauliflower (serves 25; approx. $1.60/serving)
1 package beef bacon, cooked, cooled and crumbled
1 package duck bacon, cooked, cooled and crumbled
(note: reserve at least some of the fat from the bacon.)
3 onions, chopped
1 head garlic, peeled and crushed
4 broccolini, chopped
1 head green cauliflower, chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon black pepper
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup grated pecorino
2 boxes whole wheat pasta, cooked according to package instructions and cooled
- Large, deep saute pan with lid
- Large, deep container with a lid
- Combine your cooled bacon and your cooled pasta in the deep container. Try not to snack on too much of the bacon.
- Heat the rendered bacon fat in the saute pan.
- Add the onions and garlic. Saute over low heat - bacon fat has a low smoke point so be careful - until the onions are soft.
- Add the broccolini and the cauliflower along with the oregano and pepper. Saute until the vegetables are just starting to think about becoming tender - you'll know what I mean when you see it.
- Add the wine and broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until the vegetables are as tender as you would like for them to be.
- Remove from heat and transfer the contents of the pan to the covered container. Add the cheese.
- Cover the container and shake to distribute the contents evenly. This is fun and possibly therapeutic. Get the kids in on the action.
- Chill until ready to serve or bring to your potluck.