Hi! I am aware I haven’t posted in awhile. Welcome back, me!
Getting ready to go to the store today when it dawned on me that I had no idea what to make for dinner. This is a common problem in my world, as I tend to stick to what I know. So I decided to branch out and pull a recipe off my old friend the Internet. Oh, Internet, what would I do without you? Frolic in the sunshine? Make real friends? Ha! Those things are all shitty.
Having just discovered that I don’t totally hate kale just because it’s called kale, I found a recipe from Cooking Light for Orecchieta pasta with kale, bacon, and sun-dried tomatoes. I thought, “I like all those things and would like to ingest them!” So to the store I went, shopping list in hand. (Yes, it was an actual list written down on paper and shit. Retro, bitches.)
At the store I discovered something. I have no fucking clue what orecchieta pasta is. The recipe says it’s “little ear pasta”. Now, maybe I don’t pay enough attention to pasta (or anything, really) but fuck if I can ever remember a time when I saw pasta that looked like a tiny ear. Apparently, it looks like this. That looks more like little construction hats to me, but whatever. I couldn’t find any ear pasta so I decided shells look kind of like ears (as much like ears as those fucking hats, Italy!) so I bought that instead.
Unless I’m baking I view recipes as “suggestions” more than actual instructions. So where this recipe called for sun-dried tomatoes, I decided diced tomatoes would do just fine. This recipe neglected onion and chicken broth, I helpfully added it back in (I’m very thoughtful. Someone reward me with a cookie. Or money.)
Step 1: Crisp the shit out of a few pieces of bacon. I burned it slightly because I am awesome at burning things. I stick with my strengths. Then i removed this burnt masterpiece from the pan and set it aside.
Step 2: Onion and garlic time. The burnt bacon drippings turned my onion and garlic brown in about 2.3 seconds. Mmmm…disgusting. Also, I have terrible knife skills so everything is a different size. I just say I make “rustic” food because “rustic” is the word you use when food or furniture looks crappy on purpose.
Step 3: Once you’ve sauteed the onions & garlic, toss in diced tomatoes, 1/2 can chicken broth, and spices. Again, the recipe only calls for red pepper flakes. I’m Italian and I see tomatoes in a pan so you best believe I’m adding oregano, basil, salt, and pepper as well. I don’t measure when it comes to adding spices to my tomato sauce. I’ve been doing it for so long that I just eyeball it and I’m sure I used more than the recipe called for. I shake the spice bottle until I hit maximum enough-ness.
Since I’d never made this before and I have a tendency to cook big (leftovers!) I should have bought the 20oz can of diced tomatoes. I didn’t. I suck.
Step 4: Chop kale in rustic fashion. Toss it into the pan. Cover and simmer over medium heat.
Step 5: Once the pasta is a little al dente, drain and toss it into the pan. Stir, stir, stir, stir. Here’s where I realized I really should have bought the bigger can of tomatoes and used more kale. Luckily, I had more kale so I tossed that in there. This is also where I realized that I needed more liquid so I tossed in the rest of the chicken broth. I figured there really is no way I can totally fuck this thing up unless I drop it on the floor, so why not? More broth isn’t going to hurt anything.
The recipe also calls for some lemon juice to be added at the end. As has been proven quite brilliantly in the landmark case of Sasso v. Lemon, lemons are assholes. I squeezed a whole one into the mix and let everything simmer. I’ll show you, you yellow pricks.
Step 6: Serve! This is where the bacon come in. Spoon some of this pasta concoction into a bowl, crumble burnt bacon on top, and sprinkle some parmesan cheese on it. I served it with some bread, because who doesn’t want carbs with their carbs?
It was better than I’d expected, especially since I had kale with two different cook times hanging out in there together. Didn’t matter, it was still good. The lemon gave it some zest and the red pepper gave it the kick it needed. I’ll probably make this again with more tomatoes next time.
The internet has taught me that food doesn’t exist unless it’s been Instagrammed so:
Ta da! Completed meal!
This was my dinner guest:
I feel accomplished.