There’s this one recipe of pasta which calls for bacon. however, its insultingly tasty, so I am posting in my two cents.

See, at first you need good quality bacon. And no, i don’t like spencer’s watered thin-sliced one. good, true bacon is available in two places in kolkata and that too in New Market. so please avail yourself the services of Kalman or the other one.. i think thats called UP cold storage. Me, I like Kalman at Free School St. The person who’s the supervisor is a friend. And besides, nowhere else in kolkata you shall get good pork bacon which shall be sliced at your wish. Please remove the rind before slicing, and merry days shall soon beckon. I generally buy half kilo, UNSLICED, and bring it home to chop it up to my wish.

Jakge, make sure to ask the guy to slice it average, not wafer thin. wafer thin = no happiness while eating it. bacon should be crisp and chewy in the pasta.

Now, if you have sent your pretty self to Kalman, pick up other amazingly good products at a fraction of the original cost. I suggest for the hardcore cold cuts eater the hungarian sausages and the salami, not to mention roast pork, spiced beef and tongue.
I digress. sorry.

Now get yourself some GOOD QUALITY pasta. please refrain from using licia. thats not pasta. that is pasta shaped noodles. i suggest Granora, which you shall get for about 55-60 rupees (500gms) in new market and would last you through at least 8 servings (does in my house). i have a thing for fusilli, as it cooks up quick and soaks up juices easily.

Now, heat a pan slightly, and add your bacon. please DO NOT remove ANY fat from bacon. In fact, for this recipe, more fat is good, because what you need is the bacon fat for the flavor. i generally use about 300 gms of good bacon for a packet of pasta. thats 8 people, and boss, thou shalt see that you actually love the fat permeating the pasta.

So, what you do is, put your bacon on the stovetop and cook it for about 5 minutes per side.
when you see that the bacon is quite ruthlessly crisp and dark reddish brown, please remove it from fire and take the bacon slices from the fat and lay them on a platter to rest. what you should now do is reserve about 2 tablespoon worth fat in the pan, and remove the rest.

Crumble the bacon to small pieces. you might ask, why now and not before the cooking? well, if you do that, you end up with small, curly, nasty pieces of bacon. trust me, this is way better.

{I like soaking a piece of fresh or stale slice of bread in the excess fat and grilling it on top of an oven…. instant happiness}

Now, heat a large pot with about 2 liters of water and a handful of salt. add a teaspoon of oil to prevent boil over, and add your pasta. NEVER cook your pasta in a small pot.

Meanwhile, re-heat the bacon fat on the same large frypan, and add to it about 20 cloves chopped garlic, 1 large chopped onion, 1 large chopped capsicum, and stir to combine. cook for about 4-5 minutes, and add a huge pinch of oregano (dried) or half a bunch of parsley, chopped fine. add your pasta, about a cup of the pasta cooking liquid, and stir well.

now, season with pepper, a big squeeze of lime (or more if you like it), a bit of the zest from the lime (just grate a bit with a grater).

Then mix everything together on the stovetop, add a huge handful of cheese (I’m NOT fussy, use AMUL if you like) and the bacon, and serve immediately.

Makes about 8 people happy, with a side order of fried chicken (but thats another post).

Written by Poorna Banerjee

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