Bucatini With Cauliflower and Bacon

Serves 4.

Note: To make this vegetarian, skip the bacon and add caramelized onions (see below). If you can’t find bucatini (a thick spaghetti-like pasta with a hole running through the center). use any type of pasta you prefer. From “Simple Beautiful Food,” by Amanda Frederickson.

• 12 oz. bucatini (see Note)

• 1 tbsp. olive oil

• 4 strips thick-cut bacon, diced

• 1/2 onion, diced

• 1 whole cauliflower, florets removed

• 1 lemon, juice and zest

• 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish

• 1/4 dried breadcrumbs

• Pinch of red pepper flakes

• Chopped fresh parsley

Directions

Cook bucatini according to the package instructions. Save 1/2 cup of the cooking water and drain remainder; set aside pasta.

In a large skillet, warm olive oil over medium heat. Add bacon to skillet and cook for 4 to 6 minutes, until crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and pour off and reserve all but about 2 tablespoons bacon fat. Crumble the bacon and set aside.

Add onion and cauliflower florets to the skillet. Mix well, cover and cook for 10 minutes over medium-low heat. Uncover and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until fork tender. Deglaze with the juice of lemon. Add the cooked pasta and reserved 1/2 cup pasta cooking water. Mix in 1/2 cup Parmesan.

In a small skillet, add the breadcrumbs, reserved bacon fat, lemon zest and pinch of pepper flakes and cook over medium heat, until crisp, 2 to 4 minutes.

Serve pasta topped with breadcrumbs, crumbled bacon, chopped parsley and more Parmesan.

Caramelized Onions

In a large skillet, combine 2 thinly sliced onions, 3 tablespoons olive oil and large pinch of salt.

Cook over medium-low heat for 45 to 55 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and golden brown. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Makes about 2 cups.