Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sunday in the pot

As a kid, I hated Sundays. Sunday meant the end of the weekend, homework and a return to the drudgery of school.

As an adult, I’ve grown to appreciate the almost melancholic tranquility of a Sunday. The Monday dread is there, but so too is pleasure in the simple things. Napping, reading: even simple chores can take on a meditative quality in the fading light of a Sunday afternoon.

When I can, I like to make Sunday dinners a production number, but sometimes time and the contents of the fridge conspire to force one's hand in a different direction. That's fine: simplicity can surprise you.
Quick Sunday Pasta (penne with spinach and bacon)

6-8 slices of bacon or pancetta, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Pinch of dried red pepper flakes
White wine
A large bunch of fresh spinach (about three or four cups worth) chopped
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 cups dried penne rigate

In a deep skillet or Dutch oven, sauté bacon/pancetta on medium high heat until crispy. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on paper towel.

Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant and garlic starts to brown (about one minute). Add a splash of wine and scrape up any bits at the bottom of the pan. Once wine has almost completely evaporated, add the spinach, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until spinach is wilted, about 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, cook penne in a pot of boiling, salted water until al dente, drain and keep warm.

Once spinach is cooked to your liking, return bacon to the pan and add the balsamic vinegar. Cook until vinegar is reduced by half, add cooked penne and grated parmesan, stir and serve.

(p.s: Sorry for the lack of photos: I was stuck with my old camera on the weekend and the snaps I took just didn't turn out)

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