Monday, October 19, 2009

Nigella's (Slightly Healthier) Linguine with Bacon and the "My New Orleans" Giveaway Winner

OK, I know those of you who entered my Giveaway for the wonderful "My New Orleans: The Cookbook" by John Besh, are going to either quickly scan or just bypass my lovely pasta post to get to the bottom to see if you won the giveaway. So why don't you go look now, then come back up and read my post. It's OK, I will wait for you.

Done? So, if you are not the lucky person who won, I am sorry--I really wish I could give you all this terrific cookbook. On the bright side the holidays are coming soon and this would be a great item for your wish lists. But let's get to something that everyone can enjoy, Nigella Lawson's Linguine with Bacon. (OK, maybe not you vegetarians unless you use fake bacon, but everyone else!

It is "Potluck" week at I Heart Cooking Clubs which basically means that there is no theme and everyone can bring whatever they want to our virtual potluck gathering. "Whatever I want" this week meant pasta and garlic and bacon. Yep, I wasn't thinking about a dish to take to a potluck really--just what sounded good and I kept going back and looking at this recipe again and again in Nigella's "How to Eat" cookbook. On the healthy eating scale it isn't a winner but life is about balance and I made a couple of changes to make it slightly better for me. I used some fresh, whole-wheat pasta for extra fiber, organic, nitrate-free bacon and cooked it over a rack in the oven rather in a pan of oil. Not quite as decadent but still really delicious and it hit the spot for a quick and easy dinner.

Linguine with Bacon
"How to Eat", Nigella Lawson
(Serves 1 or 2)

"This is a particularly good, particularly low-effort supper. Get in from work. Run your bath. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Put some bacon slices cut into 1/4-inch strips on a baking tray with a few cloves of garlic, peeled and minced, thrown over. Drizzle with about 1 tablespoon olive oil. Put the water for the pasta on to boil and put the tray of garlic-strewn bacon in the oven. When the water's boiling, add salt and throw in the pasta--linguine or spaghetti--and run up to your bath, taking with you the timer, set for 10 minutes (the pasta should take about 12 minutes). When the timer goes off, rush down in your towel, taste the pasta and, when it's ready, drain it, reserving a cup of the water. Take the cooked bacon out of the oven and toss with the pasta, adding a drop or two of the cooking water if you think it needs lubrication. Decant into a bowl and, if you like, take it back up to the bath with you."

Notes/Results: Bacon? Garlic? Noodles? What's not to like?! This is simple, fast and really good. Cooking the bacon strips with the garlic and a touch of olive oil on a wire rack over a foil lined pan worked well, as it allowed the fat to drain off and I could control how much of it went into the pasta, (just a bit was enough). I enjoy the slightly chewy texture of fresh (not dried) whole wheat pasta and thought it worked well in this dish. I topped my pasta with a couple of teaspoons of grated Parmesan and lots of fresh black pepper. Delicious! (Even if did eat it on the couch and not in the bath tub!)

You can see what recipes the other IHCC participants picked as their "potluck" by going to the IHCC site here. Because this is such a tasty, easy pasta dish I am also sending it along to Presto Pasta Nights, being hosted by my friend Heather at girlichef. She will be rounding up all the yummy pasta recipes for this week on her blog on Friday.

***Giveaway Winner!****

Thanks to the wonderful people at Andrews McMeel, I was able to giveaway a copy of John Besh's "My New Orleans" to one lucky person. Thanks to everyone who entered--it was fun reading your comments. 

After the highly technical drawing process--consisting of names on slips of paper for each qualifying entry folded and put in a jar...

One name was randomly pulled out and it was...

Congratulations to Kim of Stirring the Pot! Email me at with your address and I'll get your cookbook out to you ASAP. I expect to see some good New Orleans cooking on your site!

Have a wonderful week!


  1. What a delicious pasta dish. You are right, whats not to like??

    Congrats to KIM!!

  2. Thanks Deb. I am so happy to win the book! I kept sneaking to the bookstore on my breaks this weekend to look at it :D It is a beautiful book and I'm sure I will find many great recipes to make.
    I also love the recipe for this week's IHCC. Reading through Nigella's recipe is so funny. Can you imagine eating pasta in the bath tub? I can't say I've ever done that one before!! It looks great :D

  3. Yes, seriously...what's not to like!? Sound if only I had the time to take a bath. (okay, sounds gross...I do bathe...just usually in the shower). :D YUM! Thanks for sending it over for PPN, too!

  4. Congratulations Kim!!
    So.. dinner at your place? ;-)

    Great pasta - noodles, garlic and bacon are my favourite things in life. I love the idea of eating it in the bathtub..

  5. mmm that pasta looks so yummy! congrats to kim :)

  6. congrats to Kim oh and great linguine yummy

  7. Eating in the bathtub? Seriously? I've never done before. But it sure sounds like fun.

    And congrats to Kim for the terrific new book!

  8. Gnammete !! It looks so delicious I'd have some now !1

  9. Congrats to Kim! Well we know how I feel about pasta, so I would love it if you brought this to a potluck that I was attending. Bacon really does make everything better sometimes.

  10. Congrats, Kim!

    I have made this recipe so many times I've lost count. It was a staple when my husband was travelling and I wanted something that would shoot down any desire I had for takeaway. I still make it occasionally because it pushes all my taste buttons. It tastes amazing with a (large) glass of bubbly. :)

  11. The pasta looks wonderful. Can anything with bacon be healthy :-). There is nothing in this recipe not to be liked.

  12. Deb... This pasta dish sounds right up my alley. Anything with bacon and I am loving it. I have made something similar I call "Tortellini Billeci" named after a wonderful old Italian friend. The difference is the addition of sautéed mushrooms and garden green peas.

    My congratulations to Kim on winning the cookbook!
    By the way, with your wonderful photos of the entry slips... I feel like I was present for the drawing. Great idea using the jar, also.

  13. Congrats to Kim!! Eating this in the bath! How funny! I think I'll have that visual in my head all day. It's so comforting and so yummy!

  14. I really enjoy Nigella's dishes whenever I use her ideas. The flavors in this are some of my favorites...and I DID read your post:) The bath tub idea is probably not me, but who knows? Congrats to Kim for winning the giveaway. Mister Linky is up for this week's Crock Pot Wednesday. There's a giveaway going on this week as well.

  15. LMAO! ok so I'm guilty! i scrolled down and went back up!
    Of course this pasta dish looks great! with bacon in it, how could it not?

  16. Donna--thanks!

    Kim--eating in the bath would help with the clean up I guess. ;-)

    girlichef--thanks for sharing! LOL!

    Natashya--just don't eat it that way at the potluck!

    Kat--and it was! ;-)

    Chow & Chatter--thanks!

    Megan--I am a fan of eating good chocolates in the bathtub but have not tried pasta there, ;-)


    Joanne--there is still time to join the potluck! ;-)

    Lisa--bubbly is a great idea--especially if eating it in the tub!

    Mary--I did say "healthier" not healthy! lol

    George--mushrooms and peas sound like a great addition!

    Reeni--it is a funny visual! ;-)

    Debbie--I promise I am going to join in Crock Pot Wednesdays soon. ;-)

    Danielle--I knew I would catch some of you! ;-)

  17. Bacon + pasta = delicious! It's great that you used a bit healthier ingredients :). Nigella's directions crack me up. It makes cooking her recipes fun. Congrats to Kim! She'll definitely make good use of the cookbook.

  18. Great post. As for the you say, what's not to love?

    Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.


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