Monday, December 2, 2013

Winter Pasta

I've previously posted my favourite Summer Fresh Pasta, so you are all familiar with one of the most popular dishes on our dinner table.  However, even favourites run their course and eventually everyone gets sick of them - cue the new winter fresh pasta.  One of the things I like most about the summer pasta is that it is quick and easy to make and includes lots of vegetables.  So, I took the same idea a just tweaked it a bit.

This recipe does include bacon instead of cheese, but it's only one slice for two people, so it's definitely in moderation.  Just enough to give the bacon flavour without overpowering everything.  This dish serves two people as a meal or four as a side dish.


1 slice bacon, diced
1/8 tsp crushed red chile flakes
1 medium zucchini, cut in quarter moons
3 canned artichoke hearts, cut in twelfths (3 hearts out of one can, NOT 3 cans...)
6 cocktail tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
Fresh parmesan cheese, grated
salt, pepper
fresh basil, chopped (optional)

dried linguine or short pasta


1. Put salted water on to boil in a large pot for the pasta.

2. Fry the bacon over medium high heat for about 4 minutes.  Do not add any extra oil to the pan, the bacon will release a lot of fat momentarily.

3. Add the chile flakes and the zucchini as well as a bit of salt and pepper.  Sauté for about 8 minutes.  Once the pasta water is boiling, add the pasta and cook according to directions.

4. When there are about three minutes left in the cooking time for the pasta, add the artichoke hearts, garlic, and tomatoes to the zucchini.  Add more salt and pepper to taste.  Sauté until the tomatoes have released their juices and created a sauce.

5. Drain the pasta and add it to the veggies.  Portion into bowls and top with parmesan cheese and fresh basil if available and desired.  Basil is really more of a summer herb, but sometimes you can find it in the winter.  Enjoy!

Shopping Tips:

1. It is really important to buy cocktail tomatoes.  First of all, in the winter, the other ones are disgusting and have no taste, and second of all, they have a lot of juice, which is what creates the sauce.  Other tomatoes, especially Roma tomatoes, have less juice and will leave you with a dry pasta.

2. Do yourself a favour and buy your bacon from the Farmers Market.  The taste difference is incredible, and once you've tried it, you will never go back.  I rarely use bacon, so I splurge on the good stuff, wrap it up in small quantities and freeze it.  For this recipe, you can cook it right from frozen, so there is no need to worry about defrosting it.


1. You could add kalamata olives to this is you wanted to take it even further into the Mediterranean.

If you've tried out any of these recipes, I'd love to hear what you think.  Please drop me a line in the comments section and let me know.  Thanks!


  1. This looks like another good one especially during this cold snap we're getting! Will definitely try it soon. The photos are really good, Shannon. Are you taking those with your iPhone?

  2. Thanks. Yes, I am taking them with my iphone.