Bacon, Glorious Bacon


Pasta with smoked bacon, cabbage and onion confit

smoked bacon, chopped
1/2 c. onion confit (see recipe below)
2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/3 c. dry white wine or chicken stock
salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper
2 c. shredded cabbage
cooked pasta
chopped fresh parsley

For the onion confit:

6 large yellow onions, peeled, quartered and sliced
1 stick of butter (approx. 1/2 c.), cut into small cubes
1/2 cup olive oil
3 sprigs thyme
3 bay leaves
a pinch of white pepper
a generous pinch of kosher salt
1/2 c. beef demiglace (1)

Combine all ingredients in a crockpot or Dutch oven and simmer on the lowest heat setting or a low flame for at least eight to ten hours, or preferably overnight. Stir occasionally. If using a crockpot, best to leave the lid on so as to prevent the confit from drying out too much.

For the sauce: In skillet, brown bacon over medium-high heat; drain off fat. Add onion confit, garlic and hot pepper flakes; cook, stirring often, approx. 3 minutes. Add wine or stock, salt and pepper; bring to boil. Add cabbage; cover and cook until tender, about 6 minutes.

Meanwhile, in large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until tender but firm, about 8 minutes. Drain. Reserve 1/2 c. pasta cooking liquid. Add cabbage mixture and reserved cooking liquid; toss to combine. Serve sprinkled with parsley and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.

(1) If you don’t have demiglace, substitute some reduced beef or veal stock. Alternately leave this ingredient out. The confit will be flavorful enough without its addition.

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