Saturday 4 February 2012

Whole Wheat Spaghettini With Turkey and Bacon

January was not the best of months for us.  By the time it was done, we both felt that we'd run a marathon.  We were glad to bid it good bye.

Feeling that the beginning of a new month--and the fresh start it implies--merited celebration, we started February off with a turkey dinner.  Not the traditional whole bird, stuffing, and Brussels sprout bacchanalia one associates with Thanksgiving, but a turkey dinner nonetheless.  I wrapped a bone-in turkey breast with bacon and roasted it, then served it with baked yams and steamed green beans.  It was yummy.

The next night, even though we knew there were leftovers, we wanted something a little bit different.  I decided to make a pasta supper.  It made a change from the night before, used up the leftover turkey and bacon, and turned out well enough that I’m sure I’ll make it again.

If you’d like to make spaghettini with bacon and turkey, you’ll need:

  • About 1/3 pound of bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 head of cabbage, finely shredded
  • About 1 cup of diced cooked turkey breast
  • 1/2 of a 375 gram/13.25 ounce box of whole wheat spaghettini
  • Whatever seasonings you care to add  

Put your pasta pot on to boil. 

In a large skillet, saucepan, or Dutch oven, cook the bacon until it’s crispy.  Remove the bacon to a plate lined with paper towel.

Hold the bacon in a 200˚F oven while the rest of the dish is cooking.

Drain all but 2 Tablespoons of the bacon fat from the pan.  With the heat on medium high, sauté the onion until it’s translucent.

The liquid from the onion will cause some of the fond to release from the pan.  Don’t worry about any little brown specks on the onion.  They’re just little bits of bacon goodness.

When the onion is translucent, add the garlic and cook it for about a minute more.  Don’t let the garlic brown!

Mix in the shredded cabbage.  Your mixture should look something like this:

By now the pasta water should be boiling.  Season it generously with salt.  It should taste like the sea.  Ladle out about a cup of the pasta water and add it to the cabbage mixture. 

Add the spaghettini to the pasta water.  While the spaghettini is cooking, boil the cabbage mixture, stirring it occasionally until the cabbage is tender crisp.  The cabbage should cook in about the same amount of time it takes to cook the pasta.

If all the water evaporates from the cabbage mixture, add a little more hot unsalted water.  The salt from the pasta water is already concentrated into the dish.  You want to be careful about adding more.

About two minutes before the cabbage mixture is finished cooking, stir in the cubed turkey.

When the spaghettini is al dente, drain it and add it to the cabbage mixture,  Stir to distribute the vegetables through the noodles.  Taste and adjust your seasonings.  Stir again to distribute the seasoning through the dish.

Turn the completed dish out on to a serving platter and garnish it with the crispy bacon.    Serve it immediately.

I served this dish with a salad of celery and sliced crimini mushrooms in an herb vinaigrette but any crunchy salad will do.

We had some leftover spaghetti.  I used it in a frittata for supper the following day.  It was tasty too.

This post is linked to Think Pink Sundays hosted by Flamingo Toes.

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