I, for some reason, which I truly can't figure out, remember at age 19 being ENAMORED with orecchiette pasta. I know. What a thing to get excited about. Hell, I had a very sheltered childhood in terms of food, let's chalk it up to that. However, my current fascination is easier to explain and it's really simple: It's fun to say. Orecchiette, orecchiette, orecchiette. Less fun to spell.
This is a newer dish I've been making which adds bacon (everyone's favorite, not so much mine) and kale in a very light sauce.
1 cup Orecchiette Pasta
2 pieces of Bacon, Proscuitto, or Pancetta
Red Pepper Flakes
2 Cloves Garlic
1 cup Kale (Swiss Chard also works)
1 tbsn Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tbsn Apple Cider Vinegar
Fresh, grated Parmesan
Here are the instructions:
-Boil 1 cup of orecchiette pasta for 12 minutes. (You can technically use whatever kind of pasta you like, but you will hurt my feelings if you don't join my orecchiette fan club.)
-While that is cooking, take a couple of slices of bacon and fry it up in a pan. (That feels like a song. Oh wait. It IS.) You can also use proscuitto or pancetta if you have that on hand. Vegetarians/vegans, look away and just pretend this isn't in here. PS. Proscuitto would like to auto-correct to "prosecution." Lovely.
-When the bacon/proscuitto/pancetta is finished, remove from pan to cool and drain on paper towels.
-In that same pan, throw in *some* red pepper flakes and like 2 cloves of minced garlic. Let that get all brown-y. (I know. This is technical. Your *some* can be more than my some. I won't judge you on that one. Brown-y is probably better described as golden or something sounding a little more classy. I'm just not classy. I'll work on it.)
-Then add 1 c or so of de-veined kale, 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (evoo), and kosher salt. Cover and let the kale get all wilty.
-Crumble up now not-capable-of-removing-your-fingerprints cooled bacon.
- Remove the kale to a bowl and add 1 teaspoon cider vinegar.
-Drain the pasta.
-Mix the whole mess together and top with fresh grated parmesan and diced tomato.
This dish is just as good hot or cold and like many things, is actually even better the next day.