Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Pasta with Parsnips and Bacon

[Photographs: Nick Kindelsperger]

This is loosely adapted from a Babbo recipe I found on Epicurious, and by "loosely" I mean I changed three of the five ingredients listed—salt, pepper, and Parmesan weren't on the official list.

The recipe calls for fresh pasta instead of dried, but I just didn't feel like busting out the pasta maker on a weekday night. It also calls for pancetta, the delicious Italian bacon, but I didn't have it lying in the fridge so I went with some particularly fatty American bacon instead. And while plating the dish, I realized I didn't have any parsley (so I chopped some green onions for that fresh flash of green).

I know this sounds like a disaster, but the fundamental property of the original Babbo dish remains the same: parsnips cooked in pork fat taste really good. They come out slightly sweet with a luscious, creamy texture. Whatever you do, don't mess with that.

The dried pasta will work as long as you use a short shape instead of long strands of spaghetti. The American bacon will add a smoky note to the dish, which I kind of like. Parsley, however, would probably work better than the green onions.

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