Table for One: Spring Pasta
With a rare evening alone I set out to eat some of our farmers market booty. T isn't fond of asparagus, so I opted to combine it with a bit of sauted spinach. Throw it into a salad? So last year. Braise it and serve it beneath a lovely grilled steak? Yawn. Toss it with pasta? Quick, easy, and lovely on my plate.
I was tempted to add a poached egg (or one fried in the bacon drippings) but hunger called and I ate this sans extra protein. Add it if you are so inclined, or toss the finished dish with some toasted nuts.
2 ounces cooked spaghetti (reserve 1/4 cup of starchy, salty cooking water)
2 slices bacon
1 teaspoon butter
1 cup asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 cup spinach, chopped
1/3 cup chives or green onion, chopped
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Salt, pepper, nutmeg
Cook bacon over medium low heat until crisp; remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Pour bacon drippings into heat-proof bowl; wipe any remaining grease from pan with paper towel. Chop bacon into small bits.
Return pan to medium heat; add butter and asparagus. Cook asparagus about 4 minutes or until just tender. Add lemon juice and enough of the starch water to make thin sauce; add spinach and cook until spinach is beginning to wilt (no more than 2 minutes). Add chives, bacon, and cooked pasta. Toss with additional starch water if needed. Flavor with cheese, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.