I was challenged to cook one of these recipes each day, like Julie & Julia. Because I like my heart and am currently paying a trainer to discourage me from eating poorly, I didn't think that was wise. I also don't cook every day, so taking on the challenge that way would have been wasteful.
I did say I would make a few things from this cookbook. I drew the line at foods I don't like (veal, some seafood), but saw there were plenty of other recipes I was eager to try. Here's my first: Broccoli with Bacon, Orecchiette, and Fresh Lemon.
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if necessary
- 8 ounces orecchiette (little ear-shaped pasta)
- 1 pound broccoli crowns, cut into 1- to 2-inch florets (about 5 1/2 cups, from 1 1/4 pounds untrimmed broccoli)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons freshly grated pecorino romano cheese
- Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
Bring 4 to 5 quarts of water to a rolling boil in a large pasta or soup pot.
While waiting for the water to boil, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until lightly browned and most of the fat is rendered, 5 to 8 minutes, stirring often and adjusting the heat as necessary. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain, reserving 3 tablespoons of bacon fat in the skillet. If necessary, add enough olive oil to the skillet to measure 3 tablespoons. (I had plenty of fat left for my extra broccoli)
Salt the boiling water. Add the orecchiette, stir to separate the pasta, and cook until al dente, following the package instructions.
When the pasta is cooked, drain it and return it to the cooking pot. Add the broccoli, the drained bacon, 1 tablespoon olive oil, the lemon zest and pecorino romano cheese to the steaming pasta. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper, if desired. Toss the pasta well to combine and serve immediately.
I really do hope to try more of the recipes. I can't commit to a date that I'll try the next dish, but I will do something soon!