This light pasta feels like the meeting of seasons with wintry artichokes rich ButcherBox bacon with light spring-y mint and salty feta. Large pieces of bacon cook first in the pan setting the mood and underlying flavor for the pasta with its distinct smokiness while onions, plenty of garlic sweeten and aromatize this pasta that at once feels like it should be eaten immediately or could be stored and served as a cold pasta salad for those warmer spring days. Out of convenience, this recipe calls for canned artichokes which are boon, because they offer a light briny flavor that further balances the pasta from being overly rich from the bacon and feta. If you don’t happen to have ButcherBox’s bacon on hand, try this with ground Italian sausage instead.
- 1 lb penne rigate penne or rigatoni
- 1 tbsp olive oil plus more for serving
- 10 oz ButcherBox Bacon defrosted and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 medium yellow onion sliced thinly (about 2 cups)
- 5 cloves garlic finely chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 14 ounce cans artichoke hearts in brine, drained and cut into quarters
- 1 lemon halved and juiced (about 3 tablespoons)
- 4 oz crumbled French feta
- ½ cup toasted pistachios chopped
- fresh whole mint leaves freshly torn into small pieces right before for serving
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta as directed on the packaging to al dente, reserve 1 cup cooking water and drain the pasta.
- Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven or large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the bacon and cook, stirring regularly until the bacon is golden brown and most of the fat has melted into the pot, about 10 minutes. Turn down the heat to medium and with a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate or bowl. Leave about 4 tablespoons of fat in the pan and drain the rest.
- Add the onion and garlic to the pan, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring often until the onions become very soft, but don’t necessarily brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Turn the heat down low, stir in the artichokes, lemon juice and cooked pasta. Stir in ½ cup of the pasta water, but if you want a little more sauciness, stir in the remaining pasta water and season with salt, if needed.
- To serve the pasta, stir in the freshly torn mint, transfer to bowls and top with the crumbled feta and pistachios and more olive oil if desired.
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