Yes, you read that right: this post is going to be about beer pasta. I know it's shocking that I'm sharing two recipes in two weeks when I hadn't published one in months before that, but last week's dish was very healthy and this carbolicious dinner is... not. But it is delicious, dear readers, I promise you that! It's not a summery meal, as I'm sure you can imagine, but it was cool and raining and I needed some comfort food yesterday and I had flat beer and bacon to use up, so.
Plus, speaking of the rain, I got caught in every downpour yesterday until I was damp enough that, when I got home after work (and a cheeky glass of wine while on the way) I gave up and took Charlie out for a walk without an umbrella or coat. Charlie didn't want to venture out the door, actually, when he saw how hard the rain was coming down, but I was committed to finishing the job off and getting totally soaked, so I dragged him through the threshold and we wandered around a bit, my poor puppy looking up at me miserably every so often, until it was time to go back in and dry off.
With Charlie toweled and smelling only faintly of wet dog and me dripping from every curl and feeling sorry for myself, I pulled up the recipe I'd found the night before; I'd opened a bottle of Double Take IPA over my laptop on Sunday evening but then lost interest in it, so I put it back in the fridge and promised myself I'd find a use for it anyway. Thank goodness for The Beeroness!
I made a few slight changes to her recipe for this beer pasta, which she calls Orchiette Pasta with Pale Ale Parmesan Cream Sauce. First off, I used spaghetti instead of orchiette. I also added bacon, because - well, obviously. Since I didn't have peas, I threw in fresh spinach when it was all done for a bit of green. And, finally, I used skim milk rather than cream because it sounded heavy enough already and, while I did need comfort food, I wanted to be mobile for the rest of the evening. (I was mostly mobile. I was mobile-ish. Nope, who are we kidding? I was glued to the couch after eating this. But it was so worth it!)
serves 2 with leftovers
8 slices bacon
2 tbs butter
2 tsp minced garlic
1 cup pale ale (next time I'll use one that's less hoppy, but it's up to you!)
1 cup skim milk
1/2 lemon, juiced and zested
1/2 c grated parmesan (I always use more cheese than a recipe requires, but not in this case!)
1/2 tsp pepper (the recipe also calls for salt, which I left out because the bacon is salty enough)
1/2 box spaghetti
1 c water
2 cups shredded fresh spinach
First, cook the bacon in the oven so you don't have to think about it - I did it at 400°f for 20 minutes and then let it cool as I prepared the rest of the pasta.
In a pot over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the beer, milk, and lemon juice; reduce heat to maintain a simmer and stir constantly. (If you don't stir, the milk will curdle.) About a tablespoon at a time, add the Parmesan, stirring until melted before adding more. (In the interest of full disclosure, I used shredded, not grated cheese, but I'd definitely use grated next time for ease!)
Add the dry spaghetti and water and simmer, stirring frequently, until pasta is al dente and the sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes. Between stirs, chop up the bacon and the spinach. Mix all together, sprinkle the lemon zest on top, and serve immediately. Enjoy!
linking up with The Observant Turtle next Tuesday (June 18)