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January 20, 2012

The week has dissolved into a blur, and here we are at Friday again.

The skirt has another inch or so to go before I join the beginning to the end and add a waistband; I’m shooting to have it finished by the end of the month.

We are finally having winter weather around here!  We got a bit of a flurry earlier in the week, and last night we had honest-to-goodness shovel-able snow.  Alistair was over the moon – he got up and dressed early so he could go out and “help” Larry shovel (ie, throw snowballs at him).  He was so happy to finally be able to wear his new snow boots.

There are another few inches in the forecast for the weekend, too.  Can’t complain at all – I think our winter total is something like 6 inches at this point.  Last year we were closing in on six FEET by now.

I tried a new recipe last night, and I liked it quite a bit.  It was another one of those ones that I do, where I look at a bunch of recipes and cobble my own meal together…

Pasta with Bacon, Spinach, and Cannellini Beans

  • 1/2 pound smallish pasta – bowties, medium shells, penne, etc (I used shells last night)
  • 3 cups spinach, rinsed, dried and cut into pieces
  • 3 strips bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (but not rinsed squeakily-clean)
  • 1 rib celery, cut into small pieces
  • 1 small onion, cut into small pieces
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup water or broth (I used water)
  1. Boil a pot of water and once it starts to simmer, put the bacon into a cold pan – not a skillet, though, because you’ll be cooking the spinach and beans in there, and will eventually add the pasta too.
  2. Once the bacon starts to get a little brown, add the celery and the onion to the pan, and stir it all around occasionally so that nothing burns.  Once the water is completely boiling, add the pasta to the pot.  Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box, and drain it once it’s done.
  3. Once the bacon is pretty brown and the celery and onion are soft, add the spinach.  Once the spinach wilts down and gets bright green, add the beans.  Toss it all together and stir it occasionally.  If the pan starts to look a little dry, add a bit of the water/broth, and continue to stir it as needed.  Add more water as needed too (all in all I used about a half-cup).  The starch from the beans will thicken the water a little bit.
  4. Once the beans have cooked through, add the pasta to the pan and toss everything together.   Add a little salt and pepper to taste and serve.

I could see a little red pepper flake working well at the end.  Or a tiny bit of nutmeg.  Grated parmesan or pecorino would be great, too.

You could use sausage instead of bacon, chard or kale instead of spinach (you would definitely want some nutmeg with either of those), chickpeas instead of cannellini beans… it’s a pretty flexible gig.

You could even use ravioli, but that’s a whole nother thing.

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