Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bacon, Leek and Tomato Spaghetti

1 lb thin Spaghetti, 
Extra Virgin Olive oil, 
3 Leeks,
6 slices bacon, 
minced garlic, 
3 cans Italian diced tomatoes 
(or whole tomatoes and just
smash them...you could pretend its
someone you don't like)
Basil, Parsley,
Parmesan Shavings

   Mad props to my guest photographer, (my 8 year old) Elaine! She loves taking pictures for me.....          she is a foodie photographer in the making.
Chop the root end off your leeks and peel off the outer layer. Slice the leeks down the middle, and then slice into small strips. Put leeks into a medium bowl and fill it with cold water and soak.

We really like bacon. It makes us happy. I know the recipe says 6 slices, but we do a whole package. Its about 12 slices. Center cut is the best bacon ever. It doesn't make too much grease, but just enough for this recipe.

Dice it up

Toss it into a large skillet with some evoo. Make it big. This recipe will fill up the whole thing. cook until bacon is a little crispy.

While the bacon is cooking, you'll want to separate the leeks layers. They are kinda like onions, but when they grow, they get dirt in between the layers. You want to kind of make a clothes washer agitator motion with your hand and get all that dirt out of them. I know, that sounds weird. Humor me.

When they're all pulled apart and clean, take a clean dish towel and lay it out on the counter. Pull the leeks out of the water with your hands (look at all the dirt in that water. Gross.) and spread them out over the towel. Lay another clean towel over the top and pat dry.

This is how you want your bacon/olive oil to look. Now you're not going to drain any grease. You want that bacon flavoring in the sauce. If you used Center cut, it won't be a lot anyway.

Ummm.....you may want to start your pasta water. I really hope you know how to cook pasta. Cook pasta to Al Dente.

Add a couple teaspoons minced garlic to your bacon. If you really like garlic (as I do) you can put more.

And more. 

A little more than that.

Okay. That's enough.
Oh yeah, now add the leeks to your bacon-y goodness. Simmer 3 minutes or so until the leeks are good and wilted.

Italian diced tomatoes.

These are tricky to find. The can may not say "Italian", it may just say, "Basil, Garlic & Oregano". Same thing. Buy it. Buy a bunch. You'll make this again. If you only find Italian Whole tomatoes, just mash them up in the pan.

Dump 3 cans of it into your skillet and mix it up.

Now add your perfectly cooked pasta. Take a food grabber thingy like mine, and go ahead and mix it in. Just like this. Keep doing it for about 3 minutes until the noodles are all saturated with the sauce.....

I didn't in this picture, but you can also throw in some basil leaves and mix them in (Wal-mart was out that day)
Cut up some fresh Parsley and sprinkle it over the top.
Add Parmesan shavings. I love Parm shavings. This is not the same with powdered Parmesan. Trust me. Shredded is not bad, but try to go for the shaved. It sounds dumb but it matters.

Enjoy! This serves quite a few people. My family of 5 eats a ton and we still have lots left for lunch the next day.

This recipe is adapted from Rachael Ray.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Orange Chicken

This recipe is really messy to make, but sooo good. I didn't want to risk getting my camera all gooey, so I'm just gonna give you the link to it on Annies Eats.
My 6 year old is a huge fan of Panda Express Orange Chicken, but she didn't like this. I see that as a good sign. She said it was too "orangey". Whatever. Its was amazing. Make it. Right now. Or tomorrow. Let me know what you think. Serve with rice.