Quick, Easy -N- Fast Bucatini With Bacon and Pecorino Cheese Recipe

1 lb. dried bucatini or thick spaghetti
1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
6 oz. good-quality, thickly sliced bacon or pancetta, cut into matchstick pieces (see note)
3 T. chopped fresh parsley
2 t. finely grated lemon zest
1 C. freshly grated pecorino Romano cheese (4 oz.)
freshly ground black pepper

Bring 3 quarts lightly salted water to boil in large pot. Add bucatini and cook according to package directions until just tender but firm to the bite (al dente).

Meanwhile, add olive oil to saute pan large enough to hold pasta later on. Over moderately high heat, saute bacon until browned and nearly crisp. Drain off all but 2 tablespoons fat. Quickly drain pasta, leaving few drops of water clinging to strands and add to saute pan. Using 2 forks, toss pasta with bacon. Add parsley, lemon zest and cheese and toss again. Cover and let rest 1 minute on very low heat to allow pasta to absorb flavors. Serve immediately in warm bowls with grindings of black pepper to taste.

Note: If using pancetta, you won't need to cook as long as bacon because it is less fatty. Cook until it is colored but not crisp before adding the pasta. Bucatini is spaghetti-shaped pasta, but a little thicker and hollow in the center. You could certainly use regular spaghetti of good quality, too.

Makes 4 servings.


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