So I have two recipes today because pasta and salad really go well together. I am sure I’ve talked about my aunt’s salads before but I don’t think I’ve done a recipe post for it so I thought I’d add it to this dish since I made them together.
Gemelli Pasta with Greens, Bacon, and Onion
1 box Gemelli Pasta (or other extruded pasta like penne or farfalle)
1/2 lb bacon, cut into small pieces
1 medium onion, sliced
3-4 shallots, sliced
1 bunch swiss chard (or other green) with the thick stalk removed. Roughly chop the greens
4-5 good-sized garlic cloves, minced (I know, I might be overdoing it…)
1/4 cup olive oil
Servings- Roughly 8, 1-cup servings. 11 Points+ per serving (I’m going to work on lowering that because that is pretty high for 1 cup of pasta and I’ll redo a revised recipe but that won’t be for a while because I’m kind of tired of this dish…)
Cook bacon in large pan on medium-high heat until crispy. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
Drain out oil and wipe with paper towel. Add chard (or greens of choice) to pan and cook until wilted down. Set aside with bacon.
Wipe out again with a damp paper towel if residue is left in the pan from the greens. Add 1/2 of the oil (1/8 cup) and saute onions until starting to caramelize.
Add shallots and continue to caramelize, I added a little salt to help draw out the liquid in the onions.
Once mostly caramelized, add bacon and greens back to the onions.
While bacon is cooking, heat a large pot of water to a boil and add pasta and salt, and cook until al dente.
Drain and add to pan with bacon mixture along with 1/2 cup cooking liquid, the rest of the oil, and salt and pepper (only if needed, the bacon adds a lot of salt). Serve with grated Parmesan.
Okay onto the salad.
1 head butter lettuce (or lettuce of your choosing, roughly 4 cups) washed, dried, and torn into pieces
2 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 medium red onion, very thinly sliced
1/4 cup candied pecans (large pieces broken in 1/2)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 small (or 1/2 regular english) cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 medium apple thinly sliced into small pieces
1/8 cup olive oil (2 tablespoons)
1/8 cup orange muscat champagne vinegar, shown below
Serves 4 decent portions. 4 Points+ per serving.
While the onions were sauteing, i started prepping the salad. I got 2 heads of live butter lettuce for $2.30(ish) at Costco. Live means they have the roots still attached therefore they last WAY longer.
See! Anyway, since it was just my mom and myself, I used 1/2 of a head of lettuce.
I got these baby cucumbers at Costco, but you can find Persian cucumbers at Trader Joes and I’m sure other stores. If you don’t have access to either store, 1/4 to 1/2 of an English cucumber would work too. My aunt has added other vegetables too including sugar snap peas, or whatever she has on hand.
I thinly sliced the onion and apple into bit sized pieces. I used a Gala apple as that is what looked good at TJ’s but you can add any fruit you want. My aunt has put in all different kinds of fruits including peaches, mandarin oranges, she uses pear a lot which is my favorite but my mom doesnt like so I compromised.
These are the BEST in salads. They add a nice sweet crunch to the salad and you don’t need much.
I had dried cranberries from TJ’s too but I didn’t bother with a picture. Here’s everything in the bowl.
This is the vinegar she uses and it is SO good in this salad.
Toss together with salt and cracked black pepper after pasta is done and serve immediately. (Unless you like wilted salad, then do whatever you want! )
Once I feel like making the pasta again, I’ll post a revised recipe. I know I can lower some ingredients in it