Pasta with Zucchini, Bacon and Goat Cheese

The last and final leg of the kitchen remodel is nearing completion, and as I sit here fondly reminiscing about how good this pasta was, my musings are rudely disrupted by fumes from the newly-applied finish on the floors.  We've got 2 more days of this and I'm still trying to decide if it's worse or better than the dust from all of the sanding.  I think we've agreed that none of it's all that pleasant.  The Husband has done it all himself and I think it's fair to say that the only thing that sounds better to him is a day that doesn’t involve bending over wood floors.

There’s no easy segue from that to telling you about this most awesome pasta dish, except to say that it involves very, very pleasant aromas;  that is, if you’re partial to the smell of bacon cooking. Lots of bacon.  Of course, there's lots of zucchini too, which is always a good thing this time of year, but bacon, people.  It's a simple recipe to put together with a minimal number of ingredients which makes this very doable on a busy weeknight.  

Perhaps what I love most about this pasta is that it's lightly sort of creamy without being rich and heavy, owing to the bit of goat cheese that gets stirred into the pan at the end.  And if you want to add a little more than 3 ounces, I won't judge.  The goat cheese adds creaminess but also a sort of brightness that only goat cheese can bring to the party.

This is good stuff, you guys.  But of course you probably already figured that out as it wouldn't otherwise be showing up here.  So grab your bacon; here's the recipe...

P.S.  The floors are now finished and beautiful and the kitchen is officially done.  Oh, the joy!

Pasta with Zucchini, Bacon and Goat Cheese

Click here for a printable recipe

Recipe adapted from The Kitchn
Serves 2 to 3 generously

4 to 5 slices of bacon (see note below)
1/2 yellow onion, sliced thinly (I used 2 shallots)
1/2 pound short pasta like gamelli, penne, cavatappi, farfalle, fusilli or ziti
2 medium zucchinis, thinly sliced
3 ounces goat cheese
small handful of fresh basil leaves, sliced into ribbons
salt and pepper
Grated Parmesan for serving

Note:  I used turkey bacon which I cooked in 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat until semi crispy.  This had the added benefit of infusing the olive oil with yummy bacon flavor.

Cook the bacon in a large skillet (you'll be adding all of the pasta to this skillet later) until crispy. Remove, and let drain on paper towels. Add the onion to the bacon grease, season with salt and pepper, and cook on medium-low heat until very soft and beginning to brown, about 15 minutes.

While the onion is cooking, bring a pot of salted water to boil for the pasta. Add the pasta and cook until just al dente. Add the squash to the onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. If the pan gets dry, add a splash of olive oil.

Scoop out 1/2 cup of the pasta water, set aside, then drain the pasta and add to the pot with the squash and onions. Crumble the goat cheese on top and stir until it is distributed throughout the pasta, drizzling in the pasta water to help make the sauce creamy.

Crumble the bacon over the top, add the basil, and season to taste.  Serve with lots of freshly grated Parmesan cheese at the table.