A great ingredient-user-upper is pasta. Just because you don’t have a sauce doesn’t mean you can’t make fantastic pasta. In this case I used cheese, olive oil, and a bit of pasta water to bind it all together.
What I had:
Spaghetti, kale, bacon, white cheddar, olive oil, butter, garlic, pepper.
What I bought:
It’s vastly satisfying to use everything to the last drop, the last crumb, the last slice. Nothing goes to waste. And if you haven’t noticed already, groceries are expensive. You could easily drop fifty bucks on a single grocery outing for quality ingredients like organic produce…meat…spices…parm reggiano. But it’s all about value. What you buy can go a long way. In this economy (and my budget), every cent counts. So here we go. Spaghetti with kale!
Assemble your mise.
A note about mise en place:
In French, it means to put everything in place. This is another good practice to follow. Setting up all your ingredients before you begin cooking will make everything so much easier, I promise you that. If you don’t set things up beforehand, there’s a greater chance for mess-ups. Things will burn. Water will boil over. Anxiety will mount. All because you’re in a mad dash to grab things in the process of cooking, so you spend less time paying attention to the food at hand.
Drop pasta in boiling salted water. Meanwhile, saute the bacon in olive oil until crisp. Add chopped garlic and pepper and a little bit of salt. Be careful not to burn the garlic — it cooks very quickly in hot oil. Add your chopped kale and fry for about two minutes or until it becomes tender.
Add the cooked pasta to the greens and toss around. At this point add about a tablespoon of butter. Then add small amounts of the pasta water — the starch from the water will thicken the pasta. At the very end, add the grated cheese. Toss quickly and serve right away. Bon appetit!