You only need 15 minutes to make this lovely bacon, shrimps and asparagus spaghetti. The first trick is to cook everything else while the pasta boils in salted water.
The second trick is to keep a stash of frozen peeled and deveined shrimps in the freezer. You can do this by buying plenty of fresh shrimps, peeling and deveining them then freezing them in batches. You may optionally want to steam them just until done before storing. Don’t forget to cool though before freezing.
And how do you prevent the shrimps from sticking to one another as they freeze? First, spread the shrimps on a tray then freeze. Remove the frozen shrimps from the tray, drop into a covered container (or containers if you want to store them in batches) and return to the freezer.
Now, about the shrimp heads and shells… Should you just throw them away? Of course not, you make shrimp broth with them. Cool the broth, pour into containers and freeze as well. No waste.
And just what inspired this recipe? Well, we had a bunch of beautiful asparagus and Alex had thawed bacon in the fridge overnight. She was asking how she should cook them so I did a Google image search. What do you know? Almost every image pointed to recipes for bacon wrapped asparagus which I already have two versions of — one with mushrooms (cooked by Speedy) and another with puff pasty.
I wanted something different. And I thought… Pasta aglio e olio. You know, that very classic Italian pasta dish with nothing but noodles, olive oil and garlic. I’ve shared so many variants of this wonderful dish in the but but I wanted to combine two — one with bacon and the other with seafood (mussels, to be more specific) — for a new, colorful and tasty pasta dish.
Bacon, Shrimps and Asparagus Spaghetti
- spaghetti enough for three people (see notes after the recipe)
- 6 rashers belly bacon (preferably not sweet), cut into one-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons olive oil not extra virgin
- 1 bunch asparagus about 12 spears, trimmed and cut into two-inch lengths
- 12 to 15 large shrimps peeled and deveined
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- ground pepper to taste
- Parmesan to serve
- Boil plenty of water in a pot. Throw in a heaping tablespoonful of salt. Cook the pasta al dente.
- While the pasta boils, spread the bacon in a hot frying pan. Cook until browned and fat has been rendered. Scoop out and set aside.
- Pour off the bacon fat leaving two tablespoonfuls in the frying pan. Add the olive oil and heat.
- Cook the garlic in the hot oil over medium heat just until starting to brown.
- Throw the asparagus into the hot oil, sprinkle with salt and cook for about two minutes.
- Stir in the shrimps, sprinkle in more salt, add pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for about two minutes or just until the shrimps are done (see notes after the recipe).
- Drain the pasta (reserve a quarter cup of the cooking liquid) and dump into the frying pan.
- Pour in the pasta liquid. Cook, tossing everything together, for another minute.
- Off the heat, add the bacon to the pasta and toss a few more times.
- Serve the bacon, shrimps and asparagus spaghetti with Parmesan.