Monday, March 19, 2012

Weeknight Supper

It's Monday. Blech. It's days like this when cooking ideas dry up. You've got veg in the fridge that you swore you would eat over the weekend (but didn't), and now you just want some pasta.

That's when I usually turn to this dish. I'd call it a hash, but there's no potatoes. I'd call it a pasta, but that's definitely not the main ingredient. It's just a bowl full of goodness.

Mr. S, bless his heart, loves this mad mix of dinner-ish food. He gets all excited when I tell him this is what he's in for. I think it's mostly cause of the bacon though. That man looooooves bacon.

Speaking of bacon, that's the first step. Chop up the bacon into small pieces. Cook in your largest skillet (it will be much too large for this job, but eventually, everybody's going in). I also had an orphaned Italian sausage in the fridge. I threw him in too. Not necessary, but delicious!

Once that's all cooked, remove the meat from the skillet. Leave the grease there, you'll be using it in a second. 

Is your pot of water on the stove yet? You'll need it to cook the pasta. It's better to put it on now and get it to boiling than forget and have to hold everything else while you wait for pasta to cook.....

Grab your chopped veg. I always use brussels sprouts, and then whatever else is in the fridge. This time it was asparagus. 

Toss the brussels sprouts in the skillet with the grease and let them roast until golden brown. This will take a little while. (Is the water boiling yet? Penne takes 10 minutes to cook...)

After the sprouts are all roasty toasty, toss in the other veg.

Sautee that up until the other vegetables are cooked. Then add the chickpeas. You just need to warm them through.

Once you're thoroughly warm, add in the cooked pasta and a 1/2 c. of the pasta water. Then mix in feta, salt and pepper, nutmeg, and lemon zest.

Last step? Toss in that bacon (and sausage). Hopefully there's some left after it's been sitting out where picky fingers can find it.

We like to add poached eggs to ours, but it's completely optional. Sometimes we just eat it straight from the skillet.

So, grab that spoon and make up your bowls. Top with the egg, if you want to. 

Not a bad meal for a weeknight!

Warm Brussels Sprouts, Bacon, Penne, and Chickpeas
Serves 4
Adapted from How Sweet It Is

3 pieces of bacon, chopped
1 Italian sausage (optional)
8-10 brussels sprouts, halved or quartered (depending on size)
1/2 bunch of asparagus (or whatever other veg you've got)
1 29 oz can garbanzo beans/chickpeas
2 c. cooked penne pasta (a little more or less isn't a huge deal. If you're feeding a lot, add more!)
1/2 c. pasta water
1/2 c feta cheese, crumbled
Zest of 1/2 a lemon
A few grates of nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
Poached eggs (optional)

In a medium saucepan, add water and set to boil for pasta. In a very large skillet, cook the bacon and sausage (if using). Remove the meat from the skillet, but retain grease. Add chopped brussels sprouts and roast until golden. 

When the water is boiling, add pasta and cook for time directed on box.

When brussels sprouts are roasted, add asparagus (or other veg). Cook until roasted. Add the drained chickpeas to the skillet and warm through. When chickpeas are warmed, add in cooked pasta and 1/2 c. of the pasta water. Mix in feta, lemon zest, salt and pepper, and the few grates of nutmeg (Mr. S isn't a big fan, so I don't add all that much). Add the meat in and mix.

Serve in bowls. Top with a poached egg if desired.

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