Supporting players become stars in a simple spaghettini recipe that gives onions, scallions, and garlic a chance to shine. Other members of the lily family—leeks, shallots, chives—make good understudies; use them as additions or substitutions.
Fast Weekday Pastas
1/4 pound sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
2 large onions, sliced thin
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 scallions, white bulbs cut into 1/2-inch lengths, green tops chopped
4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 3/4 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
3/4 pound spaghettini
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
How to Make It
In a large deep frying pan, cook the bacon over moderate heat until crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon. Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of the bacon fat or, if you don't have 3 tablespoons, add enough olive oil to make up the amount. Put the pan over moderately low heat. Add the onions and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, covered, for 5 minutes.
Uncover the pan and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the scallion bulbs and the garlic; cook 2 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Add the broth and bring to a simmer.
Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the spaghettini until almost done, about 9 minutes. Drain the spaghettini and add it to the simmering broth. Cook until the pasta is just done, about 3 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Toss with the bacon and scallion greens.
Scallions, also known as green onions, are essentially an herb and a vegetable in one. The bulbs can be used like a regular onion, while the green tops make a great flavoring and garnish. In fact, the chopped tops can be used as a substitute for chives.
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