There’s always a story…
Well, last week, my buddy Fresh Direct decided to put some BRIE (Artisanal Brie de Nangis, which is now… interestingly enough… currently unavailable!) on the President’s Pick sale. I had brie once upon a time, melty gooey on a buttery croissant or some other small bread, with turkey and shallots I believe. It was a pleasant enough memory, but in the time since, I hadn’t come across any reason to buy some to consume myself, nor had I chanced upon it in dishes at the restaurants I visit. So I thought, “I like brie! Let me buy this. It’s on sale.”
Unfortunately, when it arrived, I eagerly dug out a gooey, messy piece, and tasted it. I was like oh my gosh, this is bitter, not at all the smooth cream-cheesey-goodness I recalled in my memory! So I sadly forced down the rest of the hunk I’d cut, with some really good grapes, but didn’t know what to do with the rest of the half pound I’d purchased.
Enter: Cooking with Amy, a food blog I casually peruse occasionally. She seems to read my mind occasionally, especially so on this instance, when the day after my sad brie disaster she posted about brie & bacon fettucine. A-ha! my mind whirred. I can trick my boyfriend into eating the brie with me (he’d expressed disgust when I purchased the hunk of brie), and get rid of it without wasting, post-haste!
Of course, being me, I had to make a few small modifications. However, the recipe being so simple to begin with, there really wasn’t much to modify. All I did was use bowties (because that’s what I had on hand and because they are delicious; also because she likens this creation to carbonara, and I have fond memories of bowties carbonara from a pasta place called Prima Pasta in LI, once upon a time), a full pound, and more bacon. And a decent medium onion, thin slices.
And lots of freshly grated Parmagiano-Reggiano; I’m trying to finish up my pound before they send me another pound (free! click here for how you can get a pound of Parmagiano-Reggiano from Fresh Direct for free!), plus it just adds such a nice taste to everything, I’ve found.
(If you’re too lazy to click over for the full recipe… well, here it is basically: cook pasta to specifications on box, but reserve some of the water it’s cooked in. While that’s going on, chop a few slices of bacon, and thinly slice an onion. Toss that in a heated skillet, over medium flame, let it brown up and get all soft and yummy smelling, and while it’s doing that, remove the rind from the brie. Once the pasta’s done and the bacon/onion seems to be good and cooked through, toss in the pasta, then the brie. Stir it all together, adding a ladle of pasta water to help bind and create a sauce. Serve immediately, grind some fresh black pepper over the top, and lots and lots of freshly grated Parmagiano-Reggiano. Or pre-grated, whatever floats your boat; if you substitute Romano, use a bit less cuz I find that to be pretty salty.)
Mmm, delicious!!! Thank you, Amy, for sharing this recipe. My boyfriend and I both actually really liked it- because I used more pasta, less cheese, the cheese was mellowed and softened up nicely, so wasn’t so IN YOUR FACE with its taste.