the best pasta I ever made
When you crave a nice, starchy + cheesy pasta, this should be your only go to.
There’s no cute and clever story behind this recipe. I received my latest copy of Bon Apetit and the cover had been screaming pasta! pasta! pasta! at me all week long.
Previously baked bacon slices, a block of parmesan and garlic from my dad’s garden back in Nebraska was all I needed to make the best pasta. Ever. Makes one serving.
Here’s what you’ll need
- 5-6 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
- 3-4 bacon strips cooked crispy, roughly chopped
(I bake my bacon strips in the oven on parchment paper 350-400 degrees until nice + crispy)
- olive oil
- Italian seasoning
- thin spaghetti noodles (1 serving, a bundle about 1 inch in diameter will be plenty)
- parmesan cheese, finely shredded
- red pepper flakes (optional)
In a small saucepan, heat up 2 tablespoons olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add your chopped garlic + bacon bits and cook until you can smell the garlic and it becomes tender. This should only take a couple of minutes. Make sure to continue to mix + stir so the garlic doesn’t burn. Turn off the heat and set this aside for later.
Meanwhile, bring water to a boil. Do NOT add salt, that bacon you’ll add later has plenty of salt. You can always add salt + pepper to your preferred taste once the dish is complete.
Add your pasta to the boiling water and cook according to directions. Once the pasta has cooked and BEFORE you drain the water, grab a glass liquid measuring cup and pull out about 1 cup of the pasta water (aka liquid gold as seen in this previous post of mine).
Once you’ve reserved some of the water, drain the pasta in a strainer and return the pasta to the pan. Add your olive oil, garlic + bacon mix. Add Italian seasoning to taste and mix over low heat. Next add your shredded parmesan and a little bit of the pasta water. I didn’t measure the cheese. It’s CHEESE people! Add a nice healthy amount and continue to mix add pasta water until the cheese melts and starts to meld with the pasta.
You’re looking for a cheese sauce to start to form and stick to the pasta. You should see no clumps of cheese. That starchy pasta water is key in making the sauce in this dish. You may not use the whole cup.
Serve immediately and season with S+P if needed.