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Dark Days Challenge Week 8: Pasta with Sauerkraut and Bacon

Our CSA switched over from fall to winter this week, which means that, in addition to produce and eggs from Red Fire Farm, we get some fun extras from other local producers. This week’s pick-up included sauerkraut from Real Pickles and cheddar from Chase Hill Farm. Now, I know that I may be in the minority, but I love sauerkraut. I’ve got some fermenting on the floor of the kitchen right now, but it’s not quite ready, so I was thrilled to get a jar from the CSA. I could seriously just eat it straight (and sometimes do), but that’s not a very fun post for the Dark Days Challenge this week. Instead, we dug through the freezer and found some pasta dough and bacon. That sounds like a meal to me!

The recipe comes from Eugenia Bone‘s excellent small-batch preserving book, Well-Preserved. Unlike other books, which have tons of recipes for preserves, but no help on what to do with them, Well-Preserved has only a dozen or so preserving recipes, but then 3 or 4 ways to use each. The fish and pickled asparagus dinner we made a few weeks ago was a riff on a recipe in that book. It might not be the first book on the subject you buy, but I’d definitely recommend adding it to your library eventually.


Pasta with Sauerkraut and Bacon

Makes 3-4 servings

Amount Ingredient Preparation Where we bought it
0.5 lb Fresh pasta Homemade
6 slices Bacon High Hope Hogs
1 pint Sauerkraut Real Pickles
0.5 cup Cheese (Parmesan or Cheddar) Grated Chase Hill Farm
0.25 cup Flat leaf parsley
To taste Kosher salt
To taste Black pepper Freshly ground

Directions

  1. You can make or use any pasta that you like. We used leftover pasta dough that we had in the freezer. We let it thaw and then rolled it out into a sheet. Lucky for us for Dark Days, this pasta was made using only local ingredients, including the flour. We’ll save the pasta recipe for another time, but here is a picture of the rolling process:

    Rolling out the pasta

  2. We tried to shape it like penne by cutting it into diagonal pieces and shaping it around a chopstick. However, in the end, this all completely fell apart in the water. We actually really liked the end results, though. So much so that we’d actually recommend making or using wide noodles. It worked really well with the sauerkraut. Anyway, here are some photos of the attempt:

    Cutting the pastaCutting the pastaCutting the pastaShaping the pastaShaping the pastaShaping the pasta

  3. While the water is boiling for your pasta, fry up some bacon, very crispy. It works best (especially for this recipe) in a cast iron skillet. When it’s done, place it between two paper towels to drain. Pour off almost all the fat from the pan.

    Mmm... baconMmm... bacon

  4. Add the sauerkraut to the skillet and cook it over medium-low in the remaining bacon fat for five minutes. Add the pasta, salt, and pepper. Crumble in the bacon, and add the cheese and parsley. Toss to mix, and serve.

    Sauerkraut

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