That damned box of fettuccine had been mocking me from the corner cabinet of our kitchen for about a week. Lately, pasta has not been ringing my bell (the penne arrabiata I made two or three weeks ago was more about the spicy, meaty sauce than the pasta), and for the life of me, I simply could not find inspiration to make anything with it. But I hated to buy other food when we had perfectly edible stuff at home.
Finally, I started thinking about ingredients about which I was excited. We’ve been loving broccoli lately, and the coming of summer always makes me want to zest a lemon over things. Add some bacon into the mix, and a slight adaptation of this dish was a perfect way to get rid of that fettuccine. I doubled the recipe and we ate this happily for 3 days.
- 6 oz ounces thick-cut bacon, chopped
- 1 pound broccoli florets, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 8 oz dried fettuccine
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Kosher salt and pepper
I kickstarted my excitement about dinner by crisping the bacon pieces in my cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until almost crisp and brown. Using a slotted spoon, I scooped the bacon onto a paper-towel lined plate, leaving the bacon fat in the skillet for a little later on.
I brought a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, then added the broccoli and cooked until crisp-tender but still bright green, just about 3 minutes. I transferred the broccoli to a medium bowl, then cooked the fettuccine in the broccoli water according to the package directions.
I drained the pasta, then tossed it into the skillet with the bacon fat. I added the melted butter, the olive oil, the lemon zest and juice, and the thyme, and tossed it well over very low heat for about 3-4 minutes.
To finish it off, I removed the skillet from the heat, added the bacon, broccoli, and cheese, and seasoned to taste. Not the healthiest meal in the world, but really, really delicious. The bacon and the butter are nicely balanced by the crispness of the broccoli and the bright acidity of the lemon zest and juice. We ate the hell out of that damned fettuccine.