March 21-23 Spaghetti with bacon, breadcrumbs and arugula

March 21   Spaghetti with Bacon, Breadcrumbs and arugula
March 22   Worked way too late for dinner - guys had pizza, I had leftover pasta
March 23   Thai Curry Chicken from Supperworks and Green Papaya and Daikon Salad

We have had a crazy couple of weeks. I worked really long days for an entire week, last week when we should have all been off having fun on March Break and going to visit family in Kingston, we were home taking care of Shack and his fractured ribs. This week we are STILL taking care of Shack and his fractured ribs, I am working on a couple of big projects for Little Shack's school and juggling work and I got a car over the weekend which had to be dealt with. Under normal circumstances this would have meant eating out or ordering out or falling back on Supperworks the entire time but I am pretty pleased with myself. We only missed a few dinners and still managed to cook some delicious new things.

I had a big bunch of arugula left over from our paninis and I was surprised to hear Shack say that he loves arugula more than any other green and could eat it every day. I guess I thought it might be in the rapini family for him so I rarely use it. Isn't that weird? After 16 years together talking about food and eating non stop, I didn't know this.

I decided to make a pasta using it and found this recipe on Taste Food that not only sounded delicious but it utilized toasted breadcrumb and that is something new for us. I used less bacon and added some chopped sun dried tomato to the bread crumb but other than that, I didn't change it much at all.

Spaghetti with bacon, breadcrumbs and arugula
adapted from this recipe on Taste Food

200g smoked bacon
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 generous tbls chopped sun dried tomatoes
salt and pepper
pinch of chili pepper flakes
spaghetti for three - that is entirely up to you how much pasta you eat in one sitting, I'm not here to judge
1 tbls olive oil
1 clove of garlic, minced (I used a roasted garlic clove and half crushed, half chopped it)
1 cup 35% whipping cream
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
1 bunch arugula, washed

fry the bacon until crispy and remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate. Pour off the bacon fat and keep 1 tbls to use for the breadcrumbs. Add the breadcrumbs, sun dried tomatoes, chili flakes and salt and pepper to the bacon fat and saute until the breadcrumbs are golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and then add the spaghetti. While the pasta cooks, heat 1 tbls of olive oil in your saute pan that you have wiped clean and saute the garlic for a minute until it just starts to colour. Throw in the cream and let it simmer and reduce and thicken, about 3 or 4 minutes should do it.

Drain your pasta when it is cooked and put it in a large bowl. Pour the cream over the top, add half the cheese, the bacon and the arugula and mix it all together until the arugula starts to wilt and it's well combined.

Either sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top of the pasta in a big serving bowl or make up individual bowls and sprinkle the bread crumbs over each one.

We all loved this, especially the crunchy bread crumbs. I don't know why I have never done that before - I guess I have always thought bread crumbs on pasta sounded a bit redundant but it was really a nice touch and I will definitely do that again.

As month 3 winds down,  the Shack family have settled into a happy place, food wise.