off-the-cuff perfection

One of Monique’s rules for easier living she lives by is: never eat a meal while standing. Pour yourself a glass of wine. Make a table setting. Then prepare to cook a meal that inspires you to sit down and make the meal a lovely moment in your oh-so-busy life.
Tonight, rather than eating something Trader Joe’s from my freezer, I found the perfect ingredients for a “refrigerator dish”— guaranteed to make a delicious, unplanned meal. While listening to Arwulf on WCBN (88.3 or wcbn.org), I found the following items to use:

  • package of smoked apple bacon, unopened.
  • medium size red onion.
  • fresh bunch of asparagus.
  • pine nuts.
  • fresh parmesan.
  • anchovy paste.

In my cupboard I found:

  • unopened package of al dente egg pappardelle pasta.
  • one lovely little shallot.

In my garden I cut:

  • chive and italian parsley.

Next, I:
put on a pot of water to boil for the pasta.
cooked up the whole package of bacon in a frying pan.
while stirring the bacon, cut one inch slanted pieces of asparagus.
quartered the red onion.
diced and diced a nice -sized shallot.

Now:
I place the bacon on newspaper to drain off the grease and make it as healthy as possible, despite it’s being bacon, which really does make everything better.
Add pasta to the pot of bowling water.

In a large fry pan:
pour in a few TBS of olive oil with the shallots, which cook on high for a brief moment.
Stir in the onions.
Pour another glass of wine. (Take a moment to hear the music and enjoy the wine.)
Stir the asparagus into the pan.
Pour in less than a half glass of chardonnay (from your open bottle, of course).
Cut large pieces of a few bacon slices into the dish.
Add kosher salt and coarse ground pepper. Stir.
Cover with the heat on low (ish).
Drain the pasta.
In a bowl (I like to use a well-seasoned old wood bowl):
put in the drained pasta.
Stir in a teeny bit of truffle oil to separate the big pasta noodles.
Add the cooked “sauce” from the fry pan.
Snip in big snips of the chive and parsley.
Cut in a few more slices of bacon.
Sprinkle a few handfuls of pine nuts.
Sprinkle a bunch of fresh parmesan.
Mix it all together!
As I write this, I’m listening to Marvin on WCBN playing a wicked freeform show while eating this fresh, easy-living dish!