This is the story of when my best friend was coming back to the drinking world after having a baby and nursing for months. Her first night back, we had dinner in Ann Arbor and then she wanted to do some bar-hopping. I wanted to go to a gourmet grocery store (Babo). So, we bar-hopped, and then hit the gourmet market. And the next morning I woke up in possession of a shopping bag full of wine, a chocolate bar, organic lip balm, and a box of quinoa spaghetti.
That quinoa spaghetti lurked in the back of my cupboard for months. I guess I just haven’t been making a ton of pasta lately (with a few exceptions), and I was also probably a little bit scared that it would taste terrible. Well, you know what would make even bad pasta taste good? Bacon.
The good news is, the quinoa spaghetti tasted great! Well, I should say it really just tasted exactly like regular spaghetti. Seriously, I couldn’t even tell a difference. If I was serving a gluten-free dinner guest, I would make them this in a heartbeat. The only reason I won’t continue buying it for myself very often is that I don’t need to follow a gluten-free diet, so splurging about $5 on one box of pasta is too expensive for me. Especially because I discovered that Ancient Harvest sizes their box like a regular (1 pound) box of spaghetti, but there’s actually only 8 ounces of quinoa pasta in the box. Sneaky!
This is the delicious bacon-y sauce I used to introduce myself to the world of quinoa spaghetti. I even added some peas and carrots in there so I could pretend it was healthy 🙂
- 3 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 leek (white and light green part only), halved lengthwise then cut crosswise into thin slices
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup half-and-half
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 8 ounces quinoa spaghetti or regular spaghetti
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup frozen peas
- In medium saucepot, cook bacon over medium heat 5 to 7 minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally. Add carrots, leek, salt and pepper and cook 6 to 8 minutes or until carrots are softened, stirring occasionally. Add half-and-half and rosemary; heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 5 to 7 minutes or until sauce has thickened (should coat the back of a spoon); stirring occasionally. Remove from heat but keep in a warm place on the stove.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted water as the box instructs for al dente. Drain the pasta, but save about 2 cups of the cooking water.
- Add Parmesan, peas, pasta and 1 cup of pasta cooking water to sauce. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sauce completely coats pasta and peas are warmed through. Add more pasta cooking water as needed.