I’m a sucker for pasta. And for recipes that help me make use of things like stale bread and about-to-go-bad coffee cream. And especially for recipes so comforting and delicious that you’re looking for an excuse to make them again. So for me, this recipe is a win.
It’s not exactly a recipe, more of a guideline, so I’ll just talk you through it. The result is a steaming bowl of pasta that’s gooey, crunchy and fresh all at the same time. It’s exactly what you want to eat when you have the house and a movie to yourself on a Friday night.
makes 1 hearty bowl of pasta
Gather up all your nearly-empty bags of pasta and throw 2 handfuls of dried/frozen/fresh pasta into a pot of boiling water. While the pasta cooks, melt a spoonful of bacon drippings or butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Finely tear/chop 1 stale piece of bread and add it to the now hot bacon drippings. (You could also cook up 1-2 strips of bacon and crumble it instead of, or in addition to, the breadcrumbs.) Cook and stir the bread until nicely browned and crispy, then remove from heat. When the pasta is 2 minutes from al dente, add a handful of fresh or frozen veggies (peas, edamame, asparagus, broccoli or cauliflower would all work well) to the pot. Cook until pasta is al dente, then strain, reserving 1/2 C of the cooking water. Transfer the pasta back into the pot. Drizzle in 2-4 T of cream, stir, then add a handful of grated sharp cheese, a generous pinch of sea salt and hammer it with freshly ground pepper. Give it a good stir and add some of the reserved cooking water to loosen it, if necessary. Mix in the bread crumbs, being sure to use all the nice bacon drippings from the pan. Taste the pasta and add more cheese, salt and pepper as desired. Because this is a bowl of starch and cream, I find you need to give it a good hit of salt.
Enjoy with a blanket, a movie and glass of wine!