And now for something a little different. A recipe I tossed together a few months back and have repeated several times. Dina likes it, I like it, a few guests have liked it, and I hope you'll like it, too. Not exactly a healthy choice meal, granted, but I think it's pretty tasty.
Rigatoni Roberto (serves 4 to 6)
1 lb. bacon
1 bunch fresh asparagus
1 pint of cherry/grape tomatoes
1 lb. rigatoni
1 to 3 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 egg yolks
2 Tbsp. butter
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
The trickiest thing about the meal is that you're basically doing several things at once to get it ready. I've separated the various pieces out, but they'll all be mixed together at the end, and you'll want to mix the sauce as close as possible to when the pasta is finished.
Early preparation: Halve the tomatoes. Trim the bottoms off the asparagus spears and cut them into 2-inch pieces.
Bacon: Cook the bacon until it's crisp, reserving 2 Tbsp. hot bacon grease. You'll want to crumble the bacon before the pasta is finished cooking.
Tomatoes: Heat the olive oil and garlic in a saucepan on high. Add the tomatoes and then cover the pan and reduce the temperature, simmering for at least 10 minutes, until the tomatoes soften. As some of the moisture comes out of the tomatoes, this will be fairly moist.
Pasta and asparagus: Cook the rigatoni as recommended on the box. 3 minutes before it's time to remove the pasta from the boiling water, add the asparagus to the boiling water. Drain them together.
Sauce: Melt the butter in the microwave or on the stovetop. Mix the egg yolks, the hot butter, the 2 Tbsp. of reserved hot bacon grease, the Parmesan cheese, and the heavy cream.
In the pot or a large bowl, mix the pasta, asparagus, sauce, crumbled bacon, and tomato mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste; you might also want to add some additional Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!