Marc Matsumoto—the writer behind the beautiful food blog, No Recipes—admits from the start that this recipe was created because he was "feeling lazy" and didn't want to leave his house. Last night I found myself in exactly the same situation—hungry but too lazy to trek out to the store to buy all new ingredients. If you happen to be stocked with Korean and Italian staples (like I am) then this is the perfect solution.
In keeping with the spirit of only using what I had on hand, I subbed out the pork belly for thick-cut bacon. Also, I added a bit of butter for creaminess and some sesame seeds for show.
The result is a dish with a rich cured pork flavor and some intense spice. I kind of wished there was something to temper some of the spice, but for a meal thrown together so quickly, it's pretty remarkable.
- 8 ounces dry pasta (linguini or spaghetti work)
- 6 ounces bacon, chopped
- 1 cup kimchi, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 scallions, green parts only, chopped
- Sesame seeds, for garnish
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente, which is usually a minute or so less than the directions on the packaging. Save a few tablespoons of the pasta water, and then drain the pasta in a colander.
While the pasta is cooking, in a large skillet set over medium heat, add the chopped bacon. Cook until the bacon is crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, leaving as much of the fat behind as possible.
With the heat still on medium, add the kimchi and garlic. Cook until fragrant, about one minute. Add the red pepper paste, and stir until it is combined.
Add the cooked pasta to the skillet along with the butter and the reserved pasta water. Stir continuously until the pasta is coated with the sauce. Season to taste with salt.
Serve the pasta garnished with scallions, sesame seeds, and the cooked bacon. Add more salt if needed.