Hats Off Bacon & Blue Cheese Pasta

Last night I had no idea what I was going to make for dinner, so I just started cooking and ended up with a bacon & blue cheese pasta with caramelized onions and spinach. I didn’t measure anything and doubt I will be able to replicate the recipe to exact proportions but if you are interested in making this yourself, scroll to the bottom of my post for a list of ingredients and half-ass instructions.

Not only did the pasta taste pretty darn good, but I learned a lot of things from this dinner. And I am going to share them with you….

Things I realized about pasta, myself, and the world because of this dinner:

  • I had no idea how to spell orecchiette until I needed to type it out for this blog post. In fact, I was so off base in my spelling that Google did not even recognize what I was getting at and, instead, gave me results for people with the last name Ricchette. Did you know that Steve Ricchetti is the founder and president of Richetti, Inc., a government relations firm? And before founding Richetti, Inc., he served as White House Deputy Chief of Staff in the Clinton administration? I did not know that either. Until now.
  • After I finally found the proper spelling, I looked at the top of my monitor and noticed I had a window already open with the word right smack dab in front of my eyes. I could have been upset about the time wasted searching for the proper spelling, but then I wouldn’t have learned all about Steve Ricchetti. I’m tucking that bit of knowledge into my pocket of useless but impressive trivia knowledge. (Until now that pocket has pretty much been empty.)
  • I shouldn’t feel bad about not knowing how to spell orecchiette off the top of my head because even with the correct spelling, I am getting the red-squiggly-typo line underneath the word. My computer is so not Italian.
  • Orecchiette means “little ears” because typically the pasta resembles little ears…but during dinner I realized our pasta looked a lot more like little hats than ears. If the Italian word for hat (or cap) is “cappello” then I think what we ate was cappellino pasta last night. So I pretty much wasted my time searching for the correct way to spell Orecchiette, but I guess it gave me a creative name for the dish I made. Oh, yeah, and I learned about Mr. Ricchetti. [Must not forget for future trivia points, must not forget for future trivia points, must not forget for future trivia points.]
  • One final and totally unrelated (but most important) realization from dinner last night came from Brad Pitt. Somewhere near the end of dinner, as we were talking about life and work and being happy and those sorts of things he said (and I quote):

“People shouldn’t keep doing something because they think it will get better. Unless its wiping. Then eventually it will get better.”

  • Brad Pitt is so smart.

Hats off to Orecchiette and a better understanding of the world!hatpasta

Ingredients & Half-Ass Instructions
caramelized onion (here are instructions on how to caramelize onions)
garlic
spinach
bacon
tomatoes
sunflower seeds (poor man’s pine nuts)
blue cheese crumbles
white wine
1/2 and 1/2
chicken broth
pasta water
rosemary, basil
orecchiette

Caramelize onions in one pan. Chop bacon into bite size pieces and cook in another pan. Set bacon aside on paper towel when done cooking. Set onions aside in separate bowl when caramelized. Using onion pan, add pat of butter and saute garlic, add spinach and stir. Add some white wine. Then add blue cheese crumbles, half & half, and chicken broth and stir to create a sauce. Toss in some dried rosemary and basil for the hell of it. Oh. Don’t forget to boil water during this time and cook the orecchiette so its al dente when the sauce is ready to go. (Reserve some pasta water to add to the sauce as needed.) Add bacon and onions to the sauce mixture. Add pasta. Toss some chopped tomatoes and pine nuts (or sunflower seeds) on top. Enjoy.

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