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Hello Bacon Lovers!
Welcome to the first installment of what I am sure will be a long lived Endeavour into deliciousness.
Bacon. Just hearing or even thinking of the word makes me salivate with anticipation. It is the food of kings, the stuff that dreams are made of, the nectar from which the most delicious of all things come. I digress… There is no need to go on (as much as I would love to), since merely visiting this blog is a testament to your love of God’s perfect vegetable.
- 1lb – Fettuccine
- 8 – strips Maple Leaf Bacon
- 4 pieces – Schneider’s Canadian Back Bacon
- 2 cloves – Garlic
- 1 – Zucchini, sliced into ribbons
- 3 cups – Milk or Cream
- 4 or 5 sprigs – Fresh Thyme (or 1 tbsp dried thyme)
- ¼ cup – Grated Parmigianino Reggiano
- 1 – per person Egg Yolk
- Black Pepper to taste
Should serve about 3 to 4 people.
When I was told I got the job as resident food-blogger for the Republic of Bacon, I was ecstatic and overjoyed, yet somewhat overwhelmed. Why, you ask? Well, I soon realized I had to do justice to the heavenly ingredient presented to me. Where to I begin?! There are so many directions to take! After much deliberation, I felt it was best to show my due and full appreciation to both the ingredient and my Italian heritage, from which I learned most about cooking.
This is a classic, rustic Italian dish that I’ve slightly modernized with influences from Iron Chef’s Battle Ham. This dish will feature two, yes TWO, types of bacon (The classic Maple Leaf Bacon and Schneider’s Canadian Back Bacon) and will be finished with zucchini ribbons and an egg yolk.
1. First things first: get your pot of salted water going. Nothing is worse than waiting for water to boil when everything else is ready.
2. Now, go grab your favorite knife and your cutting board. Give your garlic a whack with the back of your knife, give it a peel and dice it up nice and fine.
3.Take out 8 strips (roughly two per person) of Maple Leaf bacon and cut them into about half inch pieces. Don’t cut them too small, because then you’ll take away the joy of biting into a nice juicy piece of bacon once everything’s said and done.
Remember: bacon shrinks a lot when it’s cooked!
4. Go ahead and throw the garlic and the cut bacon into your pan on medium heat. You don’t need any additional oil or fat in the pan since the bacon will make plenty of its own.
5. While that’s doing its thing in the pan, go ahead and grab your zucchini and a speed-peeler. These things are not only great for peeling vegetables, but making thin slices of anything it can cut. Run your speed-peeler along the length of the zucchini to get perfectly thin ribbons. You can use this same technique to make a raw zucchini salad with an herbal vinaigrette –molto delicioso!
6. Once your bacon is almost crispy, push it to one side of your frying pan to make room for your zucchini ribbons. You’re going to fry them for literally 6-7 seconds on each side. This is just so they get a little bit of flavour from the pan but still retain their crunchy texture.
7. Once those are done (I recommend doing them in batches of 3-5, so you can keep track of them easily), throw them on a piece of paper towel to take off any excess oil.
8. Now in your pan that held your bacon and garlic, dump your cream or milk. I used half and half; I think it has the best balance of creaminess and heaviness, but it’s really up to you.
9. Season the cream mixture with the thyme and a whole bunch of black pepper – it adds a bit of a kick that goes great with the bacon. You shouldn’t need to add ANY salt to this dish. Between the two types of bacon and the pasta boiled in salted water, there should be plenty.
10. Go ahead and turn your burner down to low and let the cream reduce a little bit. At this point, your water should be boiling, throw your fettuccine in.
11. While the pasta is boiling and the sauce is slowly reducing, fry one piece of Schneider’s Canadian Back Bacon per person in a separate pan. Just set it aside once it’s done to keep warm.
Why? This will be used at the end to hold our egg yolk.
12. Once the pasta is cooked, toss it in with the reduced sauce and add your cheese. Don’t let the sauce reduce too much, or else it will be pasty and dry. If you notice this happening just add a bit of water until the sauce flows, but still coats the surface of a spoon.
13. Once the sauce is at the perfect consistency, plate immediately by wrapping the zucchini ribbons around the pasta, topping with a single piece of Schneider’s Canadian Back Bacon and the raw egg yolk. This dish is meant to be eaten right away, or else the sauce will thicken up and everything will stick together. We don’t want that.
Now you might be hesitant to add the egg yolk (just as my dad was). Do not be afraid. Once you break the yolk and mix it into the pasta, it takes the dish to a whole new level of creaminess. A fellow blogger once put it: “The freshness zucchini balances the creaminess and its crunchy texture gives contrast to the smoothness of the sauce.”
All in all, heaven on a plate – can you tell I enjoyed it? Did you enjoy it? If you made this dish, how would you personalize it?