Thursday, June 3, 2010

Pasta with Asparagus and Bacon

This is a really great recipe for using one of my favorite spring vegetables - asparagus. The smokiness of the bacon compliments the vegetable well, and the creamy pasta sauce ties it all together. Plus, you could have dinner on the table in a half hour!

Start by cooking the pasta til al dente. While it cooks, wash the asparagus, then break off the tough ends and chop it coarsely.

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the asparagus,

and boil for 2 minutes. Watch the clock! You don't want the asparagus getting mushy! Remove from the heat and drain the asparagus, then put it in ice water to stop it from cooking any more.

Now, fry up the bacon in the same skillet. When a recipe calls for bacon to be cooked and then crumbled, I prefer to cut it first. I just use my kitchen shears to cut multiple slices into pieces.

Although they stick together initially, as they cook they'll come apart.

Fry the bacon until it is crisp, and then remove from the skillet to drain on a paper-towel lined plate.

Drain the grease from the pan, then heat the butter and olive oil in the same skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic, and cook until it is fragrant, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the half and half,

bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for 2 to 3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add the mozzarella cheese,

and stir until it is melted. Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce,

along with the salt, asparagus

and bacon.

This looks good already!

Now stir it all up so the sauce is coating everything, and top with the Parmesan cheese.

If you have fresh parsley, it makes a lovely garnish. If not, it's delicious, and beautiful, even without it!

Get more inspiration at Cooking Thursday , Krazy Kitchen, Foodie Friday, Friday Food , Food on Fridays, Seasonal Sundays.

Pasta with Asparagus and Bacon

12 oz. rigatoni, rotini or other large pasta
1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and coarsely chopped
8 bacon strips
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup half and half
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
minced fresh parsley for garnish

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add asparagus, cover and boil for 2 minutes. Drain and immediately place in ice water. Drain and pat dry.

In the same skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels to drain. Crumble bacon and set aside. Saute garlic in butter and oil until tender. Stir in half and half; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 3-4 minutes until slightly thickened.

Stir in mozzarella cheese until melted. Drain pasta and add to pan. Stir in salt, asparagus and bacon. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and parsley. Serves 6-8.


  1. Oh Sara, This looks sooooooo yummy. All of my favorite things, pasta, bacon, asparagus, lots of cream and cheese. Nothing could be better. I will be making this soon. DH doesn't care for asparagus (???) but this surely looks like a fabulous luncheon dish.


  2. I'm the only person in the family who is crazy about asparagus, so I might just make this and leave an asparagus-free portion for the kids (they love bacon), and then pile it on for the Belgian Wonder and me. This looks so good, and I really like the step-by-step instructions.

    I prepare my bacon like that, too, finding it so much easier to cut it raw than to try crumbling it cooked.

    Thanks for linking to Food on Fridays!

  3. This sounds wonderful. I can't wait to try it. Thanks for sharing.

  4. This sounds delicious - I love asparagus, especially this time of year when it is in season and so fresh.


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