Sometimes after work, I’m so hungry that I pretty much rush home and stuff the nearest edible thing down my gullet. Other times, like yesterday, I allowed myself 15 minutes to make a quick dinner. Take that, Rachael Ray.
For this dish, I took tomatoes from my garden (yes, I still have some left!) and thought, man, these are too naturally yummy to destroy (by fire!). So, I went about making a quick pasta with ingredients that get to keep their integrity. There are only 6 items in this dish. There’s not even salt, as the bacon and shrimp lend their natural saltiness to the pasta.
The garlic in this dish is warm, but almost raw. I like that. I like the rough bite of garlic. But if you’re more sensitive, you may want to cook it a little longer.
Also, be a friend to the shrimp and try not to overcook them. Compared to other kinds of meats, shellfish cooks lightning fast. Be prepared to get whiplash and be all like, HUH? It’s done?
Yes, it is.
- 1 lb dried fettuccine pasta (or, 4 handfuls)
- ⅓ lb fresh tomatoes (1 medium-to-large-sized globe, or 3 Romas or about 15 cherry tomatoes), cut into 1- to 2-inch hunks
- 3 slices of bacon, cut crosswise into ½-inch pieces
- ½ lb shrimp, thawed and peeled (aka 2 fistfuls)
- 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 5 tbsp of chives or green onions, thinly sliced
- Place the pasta in boiling water that has been salted to the point where it tastes like sea water. Cook until al dente (cooked through, but not soft). It should take about 7-10 minutes.
- While pasta is cooking, heat up skillet/frying pan over high heat. Cook the bacon (oil is not needed, as the bacon is self-lubricating) until it's crispy.
- Throw in tomatoes and cook with the bacon in the bacon fat for about 2 minutes. You just want to soften the outside and warm the tomatoes. You want them to keep their shape. You don't want them to break apart.
- Drain pasta, don't rinse, and while it still has a little bit of water sticking to it, drop it in the skillet with the tomatoes and bacon. Turn down the heat to low. Toss the stuff in the pan to evenly coat the pasta in the yummy bacon-tomato-y goodness. The water from the pasta will emulsify with the bacon fat and tomato juices and create a bit of a sauce.
- Insert your shrimpies. It doesn't take much for them to cook. The heat coming off of the pasta will pretty much do it. Let it hang out, occasionally tossing every 30 seconds until the shrimp turns pink. You don't want to overcook the shrimp. It should retain a little bit of is translucence (and it will continue to cook once it's dished out in a serving bowl.) It should take about 4-6 minutes, depending on the size of your shrimp.
- Add in the sliced garlic and give it all a few more tosses. The garlic is not meant to be cooked a lot. It should still have a bit of an edge.
- Transfer to a serving platter or serving bowl(s). Sprinkle the chives on top. Crack some pepper over it, if you'd like. And DONE!
Check out my tomatoes! There is a Roma, dwarfy Moskovichs (they’re small because I withheld heat, sunshine, and love from them, not because they are some cute dwarf variety), and sweet million cherry tomatoes (I totally did not get a million this year.).
Oh, and don’t use turkey bacon for this. You will be up-set when everything sticks to the pan because turkey bacon is not self-lubing. (Also, turkey bacon is gross.)