Sam has been working the swing shift these first two weeks, so instead of a fancy dinner to come home to, I send him off to work after a fancy lunch. I've actually found myself more motivated to cook at 11:30 am than at 5:00 pm. Hopefully I can transfer that enthusiasm, because Sam will work a more regular shift starting next week.
One of the lunches I made was this wonderful pasta dish that felt healthy but probably added a couple inches of plaque to my arteries. Oh well. The zucchini and lack of heavy sauce made it feel light and scrumptious-- the perfect kind of lunch. And of course it was delicieux because it featured two of my all-time favorites: bacon and parmesan. I should state, for the record, that bacon is why I am not a vegetarian. When I was 9, my friend told me she was a vegetarian, so (naturally) I decided I would be, too. Then, I went to a slumber party for a different friend, and in the morning, bacon was served for breakfast. I have this clear shot in my head of sitting at the table, staring longingly at the bacon, wanting so badly to eat it but feeling this moral obligation to stand firm. I gave up vegetarianism not long after. Plus, have you had the bacon bar? I love it.
Anyway, back to the pasta.
This dish doesn't need a firm recipe. I think it better to just explain the process. Cook some penne pasta al dente, and reserve about 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Cook up some bacon. I used half a package. I also cut the bacon beforehand so I didn't have to crumble it after; this was much easier. Just before the bacon is finished cooking, toss in some diced zucchini and saute it with the bacon until it is tender. Throw the pasta, bacon, zucchini, and pasta water in a big bowl with a hefty amount of parmesan. Stir it up then add more parmesan to serve. It is surprisingly flavorful and complex. You'll love it, I'm sure.