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A tangy, Italian-inspired, simple little pasta dish, great for a small entrée, or as a side. I serve this warm, but it wouldn't hesitate to serve it cold either, as it *is* a pasta salad, somewhat. This isn't a terribly heavy dish, and would be great for summer! (The dressing recipe included is quite tangy, how we like it in our family, but it goes well with this, as the warm pasta will asborb some of it, and it will be less acidic than you might expect!) (Designed for two, but could easily be scaled up for a larger group.)
- 2 -3 cups of a shortcut pasta (rotini, bowties, etc.)
- 3 -4 slices raw bacon, cut in small 1-2-inch pieces
- 1⁄3 cup pecans or 1⁄3 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
- 3⁄4 cup green beans, cut in 1-2 inch sections (frozen or fresh is fine)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1⁄2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1⁄4 ts. fresh cracked black pepper
- splash red wine vinegar
- fresh basil
- salt, to taste
- grated parmesan cheese or romano cheese, to taste
- use either 1/3 cup of pre-made Italian dressing
OR a combination of
- 3 tablespoons vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1⁄4-1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1⁄4 teaspoon dried oregano
- (If making dressing, now is a good time to start, at the beginning!).
- Put a medium pot of salted water on, and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, begin frying bacon in a medium-sized skillet.
- Continue cooking both, strain pasta in colander when cooked through, and drain bacon, reserving about 1 Tbsp fat, and set bacon aside on a paper towel.
- In frying pan, sautée nuts till they have some crunch to them, and set aside. Add green beans and garlic, and sautée till beans are tender.
- Add red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, and a splash of red wine vinegar. Sautée another minute, and tear in some fresh basil, as much as you like, letting it wilt slightly, but still retaining it's colour.
- Turn off heat, and in a medium-sized serving bowl, combine the pasta, the green bean/garlic mixture, the nuts and the bacon, and whichever dressing you have decided to use. Mix well, and sprinkle in as much parmesan or romano as you see fit, season as needed.