(And I do mean last night, not tonight. Because tonight was pizza and ‘Frozen’ in the living room.)
I was going to come up with some sort of pasta salad last night, I really was. But time ticked on, and I suddenly realized that my window for making one and having it anywhere resembling “chilled” by dinnertime was, you know, closed. And I’m not gonna lie…I thought about calling my hubby and suggesting we get pizza. I don’t like to be rushed when I cook, you see, and I also don’t like to change my plans at the last minute. (I really, really don’t like that.) But the fact of the matter was that if we’d ordered pizza last night, it wouldn’t have been an option for tonight, and anyway, I had an idea that would work and almost all of the ingredients required, so pizza would have been a thoroughly lazy cop-out. And so we tried this 5-Ingredient Bacon Asparagus Pasta, which would have been even simpler if I hadn’t had to choose a substitute for white wine. (I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or a Mormon; wine isn’t something we ever have.) I googled substitutes, and I looked at the various reasons behind the substitutes, and then I made up my own ratio of two parts chicken broth to one part good white wine vinegar from Costco. (I want the tang and the bit of sweetness, so plain chicken broth is never going to do it for me in cases like these. I LOVE acidity.)
Anyway, once I got that ingredient taken care of, I cleaned my asparagus and went to town. My biggest problem with the recipe was in this paragraph:
Meanwhile, add your diced bacon to a saute pan. Cook it up in a pan until it’s nice and crispy. Then remove it with a slotted spoon, and leave the leftover (about 1 Tbsp.) grease in the pan.
I don’t know what kind of bacon SHE was using, but the ‘leftover’ grease in my pan was at leat 2/3 of a cup worth. I drained it down to a tablespoon or so and moved on. I was lazy about removing the asparagus from the pan before I deglazed, but I regret that–it lost its lovely bright green color and got a smidgen too done. And then I used cheap Parmesan for the mix-in and good Parmesan for the topper layer.
And the verdict?
Hmmm. I enjoyed it, but I actually think a bit less vinegar would have been preferable. My husband was surprisingly okay with it–it’s not really his thing–and the kids, predictably, complained about the asparagus. (It’s not that they don’t like asparagus at all; it’s that they’re weirdly choosy about how they like it to be prepared.) Overall, I would lessen the amount of vinegar I used and make this again; its short ingredient list and quick cook time was very attractive, and the kids did like it. (Not being lazy about the asparagus would probably help in that department.) I would also use good Parmesan in both places. (Oh, and I used fusilli springs and liked that; I’m sure linguini would be good, but it’s just too hard to feed to a 21-month-old.)
So there you have it. If you happen to have asparagus in your fridge and you’re looking for a quick meal with a minimal ingredient list, try this one out for size!