Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Forever Hungry

Pasta makes me happy.

During the no-carb, Atkins diet craze, I thought the whole world had gone mad.

Because a life without tortellini, capellini and lasagna is so not for me. Ditto for bread and pizza.

Everything is moderation is my motto.

Unless, I’m pregnant. And then, well, I kinda want pasta and/or pizza like everyday. And I keep jonesing for a chocolate doughnut.

Don’t do it, Susan. Don’t do it.

Seriously, I may eat pasta twice a week during this bun-in-the-oven stage of life. And ironically, I can’t eat a lot all in one sitting. I can’t eat a lot of anything all in one sitting.

Except sushi. Oh, how I miss thee.

I’ve made the dubious mistake while being pregnant and eating out to order copious amounts of food only to become full three bites in.

My eyes are bigger than my stomach as my Poppop would say.

These days, my stomach seems to be bigger than anything. At 19 weeks, I’ve gained 8 pounds. Not too shabby, I suppose. The issue is that I’m always hungry. I eat about six to eight times a day, which can be exhausting, actually. And, I drink about 4 gallons of water daily. The baby-growing process sure does work up a girl’s thirst.

In addition to pasta, I do eat tons of fruit and vegetables. In fact, I am quite thrilled that blueberry season is upon us here in H’town.

And, OK. You caught me. So, I've had one chocolate doughnut. The baby wanted it.

So, onto the recipe at hand: Bacon and Grape Tomato Pasta. I came up with this one night when The Husband was working late.

It’s kind of like an arrabiata sauce – which features bacon. But instead of canned tomatoes I used a pint of fresh grape tomatoes. Yum yum.

Bacon and Grape Tomato Pasta
Makes 2 main dish servings or 4 side dish servings

4 strips bacon, chopped
1 tsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ medium onion, chopped
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
12 basil leaves, chopped
½ box gemelli pasta
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions.

In a saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add bacon. Cook until browned, about five minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove bacon to a paper towel-lined dish to drain excess oil.

Remove saucepan from heat, and remove some bacon drippings. Leave about 2 Tbsp. in the pan. Return pan to medium heat. Add garlic, onion and red pepper flakes. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Add grape tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for a few more minutes.

Using a ladle, transfer 2 or 3 scoops of pasta water to the saucepan. Bring to a gentle bubble.

Once pasta is cooked to al dente, use a spider ladle to transfer pasta to saucepan. Coat pasta in sauce. Return bacon to saucepan. Toss. Add basil leaves and toss. Check for seasoning and serve.

Serve with grated parmesan cheese.