When I told Joe about this dinner (basically conceptualizing it out loud), he heaved a massive sigh. You see, Joe is always wary of me using zucchini in a recipe, because he's worried I'm going to get obsessed with it like a did a couple of summers ago (resulting in this week of zucchini recipes, as well as several others). I think he ate more zucchini that summer than he'd ever eaten in his entire life. I had to entice him into eating this pasta by assuring him that it would contain plenty of bacon. Bacon is something that he is incapable of resisting.
He actually ended up enjoying this meal quite a bit, and the boys and I did too. The ingredients are simple, but the flavor is actually quite complex. The earthy zucchini and salty bacon pair perfectly with the sweet, creamy sauce. I didn't say anything out loud, but I was feeling pretty smug when Joe went back to the pot for seconds!
Rigatoni with Bacon, Zucchini and Cream
1 pound rigatoni
6 strips bacon, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 medium zucchini, sliced into half-moons
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup white wine
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Cook pasta in boiling salted water to al dente; drain.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Remove to paper towels to drain.
3. Discard all but one tablespoon of the bacon grease from the pan. Add butter, and when it's melted, add the zucchini and onion. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and cook over medium-high heat until the onion is translucent and the zucchini is softened. Add garlic; cook and stir for 30 seconds.
4. Add the wine and stir with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom of the skillet to pick up all the drippings. When wine has reduced, reduce heat to medium and add cream. Cook until thickened, stirring occasionally, then stir in the parmesan cheese and the reserved bacon. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.
5. Add the sauce to the cooked pasta. Serve immediately.