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Pasta with Bacon, Cheese, Lemon, and Pine Nuts

By John Ash

Any cool shaped pasta can be used here. I chose trofie because it has nooks and crannies for the sauce to get into. This is a simple recipe and great for a quick weeknight entrée. The butter browned pine nuts are delicious but if you can’t find them then slivered almonds also are great. This has the richness to go with the 2021 Russian River Ranches Chardonnay.

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    Serves 4

    Total Time 15 minutes

    Prep Time 8 minutes

    Difficulty Level Easy


    12 ounces dry trofie pasta

    6 ounces thick sliced bacon sliced into thin strips

    5 tablespoons salted butter

    1/3 cup pine nuts

    1 large lemon, zested and juiced

    1 big pinch red chile flakes

    1/4 cup roughly chopped parsley

    3/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese plus more for garnish


    1. Heat 2 quarts lightly salted water to a boil in a deep saucepan and add the pasta. Cook until al dente, about 10 minutes, reserving some pasta water.

    2. Separately in a skillet cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until just crisp. Drain on paper towels and reserve.

    3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small skillet. When it foams, add the pine nuts, and cook, swirling the pan every so often, until they turn brown and toasty. Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice.

    4. Drain the pasta, reserving a cup of cooking water then return them to the warm saucepan. Add a splash of pasta water. Stir well then cover for one minute.

    5. Stir in the pine nuts with their butter, lemon juice, lemon zest, chile flakes, parsley, and reserved bacon. Gradually add the grated cheese, stirring constantly, adding more pasta water as needed to reach your desired consistency.

    6. Serve warm with extra cheese sprinkled on top.

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