Ever have those nights where you just don’t feel like cooking? Yup, I have them all the time. Either I’m too busy working late into the night to stop and whip up an amazing meal or I’m just plain beat from the day (OK, OR The Bachelor OR American Idol is on and the shows both last 2 hours, which takes up a good part of my night). Ahem. Anyway.
I love this Martha Stewart recipe for Spaghetti With Pancetta, Green Beans, and Basil because it’s SO easy, but also quite delicious and better than just throwing a sandwich together. Plus, the green beans give you a bit of nutrition… And you can always throw in some more vegetables too. I adapted it a bit, but followed it for the most part. I’m a big proponent of the idea that you don’t have to spend a ton of time on dinner to make a great meal. Of course, sometimes it’s fun to put a bit more time in effort in it, but some nights you want something quick, easy, and yummy.
Spaghetti with Pancetta, Green Beans, and Basil
- 8 oz. of spaghetti (I used whole wheat)
- 4 ounces pancetta, diced, or 4 slices of bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 3/4 lb. green beans
- 1 C parmesan
- 1 C fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
I love a recipe with only 5 ingredients! And mostly fresh, delicious ingredients too. First boil your water and cook your pasta. I LOVE pasta and am not ashamed to admit it. But I do generally try to eat whole wheat when I eat it. I actually think it tastes better and it gives me a tad bit less guilt if I want to stuff my face with it. Which I often do. When your pasta is done, make sure you save a cup of reserve past water as you’re draining it.
While your pasta is boiling, cook your pancetta in a large skillet over medium heat, until browned and crisp.
Oh God, pancetta is amazing. Transfer it to a paper towel-lined plate and make sure you save about 1 T of the oil in the pan. And try NOT to eat the pancetta as you finish whipping up this meal.
Put the green beans in the skillet. The original recipe called for the green beans to be halved crosswise, but I just threw them in whole. Season them with salt and pepper and cook, covered, until their crisp tender, about 5-7 minutes.
Transfer to the pot with the pasta and add pancetta and 1/2 C parmesan. Then add enough of the reserved pasta water to create a thin sauce that coats the pasta.
Top with basil and remaining cup parmesan and serve!
I’m a big fan of adding basil to… everything! I know it’s still the dead of winter, but basil makes me feel so summery and happy. Come to think of it, this whole meal was kind of summery, but I was A-OK with that.
I truly believe this dish combines some of the very best things. And it made plenty, so leftovers were in order for the next night. When I was feeling even lazier (see how this works?).
So, the next time The Bachelor or American Idol are on and you can’t be bothered to spend hours in the kitchen, try this recipe! OK, your taste in television is probably a lot better than mine, so fill in the blank with your favorite television show. But if you do happen to be a fan of The Bachelor, who are you rooting for to win tonight??