In case this giant plate of pasta staring you right in the face doesn't make it clear, Kyle and I are finished with our Paleo challenge. Pasta, sugar, and diabetes for EVERYBODY!!!!
After a fantastic, but exhausting weekend in Rhode Island for Kyle's brother's wedding, we needed sustenance, but mostly, we needed it fast, as the beer and wine hangovers we were suffering seemed to only grow worse with the passage of time. So, on the drive back from BWI, I gave Kyle two options: spinach salad or smokey spaghetti. It was HE who chose the spaghetti, and don't let him tell you any different!!
Smokey spaghetti is one of my mom's recipes. Okay, okay, so it's actually a Giada recipe, but that's beside the point. My mom started making this dish when I was in high school, and it's always been a crowd pleaser. It's deceivingly hearty (thanks to an entire ball of mozzarella and several pieces of pancetta) and a breeze to put together.
Perhaps the most challenging part of the recipe is getting your hands on smoked mozzarella. It's the star of the dish (hence the name smokey spaghetti), but can be difficult to find. That said, when you do, pounce on it and make this.
Smoked mozzarella is darker than the unsmoked variety and smells, ummmmm, smokey? But it's true. And it has an amazingly, um, also smokey, flavor that lends itself incredibly well to the asparagus and pancetta.
Oh, and by the way, in case you weren't lamenting over it enough already, summer's over, sucker...better make this soon to take advantage of the asparagus.
You'll notice I've been mentioning pancetta for this dish. What you'll notice less of is the near rampage I had to go on in Whole Foods to find it!! Have you ever seen a sleep-deprived, hungover redhead DEMANDING cured meats??? It's not a pretty sight.
You see, this pasta actually calls for prosciutto, and by all means, use it if you can! However, in what must have been a run on prosciutto for Arlington yuppie Labor Day festivities, one lone package of pancetta was, indeed, all I could get my freshly manicured hands on. #WhiteWhine, anyone?
So the moral of the story is, pancetta makes a fine substitute for prosciutto in cases like these.
Oh, look! It's the devil's candy--spaghetti!
If you don't think any less of me, I'll tell you that I ate two servings of this for dinner...
...and then another for breakfast.
ARE YOU JUDGING ME?!?!? How DARE you.
Makes 4-5 servings
- 1 box of spaghetti noodles
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 1/3 cup of frozen peas
- 1 ball of smoked mozzarella
- 1 package pancetta or proscuitto
- Basil for garnish
- 1 lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
1.) While you bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, dice the mozzarella, pancetta/prosciutto and cut the asparagus into 1 inch pieces.
2.) Add the pasta to the boiling water.
3.) While the pasta cooks, saute the asparagus over medium heat in 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Add some salt and pepper. Saute the asparagus until it's tender. Add the pancetta at the end to heat it through.
4.) Drain the pasta, then add it back to the pot, with the sauteed asparagus and pancetta, mozzarella, and peas. Add about a tablespoon or so of olive oil to very lightly coat the noodles. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5.) Garnish with a chiffonade of fresh basil and wedge of lemon.