serves 6 to 8
2 heads garlic, roasted with 1 teaspoon olive oil (yields about 3/4 cup softened garlic after peeling)
1 8-ounce package farro penne (about 5 cups cooked)
4 slices bacon (about 3 ounces)
1/2 large yellow or white onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
4 cups radicchio, sliced chiffonade (thin ribbons)
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon dried oregano
4 cups (packed) spinach
1 tablespoon olive oil
2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
12 leaves fresh basil, sliced chiffonade (thin ribbons)
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut off the pointed end of each head of garlic, drizzle with the 1 teaspoon of olive oil, and wrap tightly in foil. Bake 30-40 minutes until soft. Let cool before handling.
Cook the penne in salted boiling water 9 to 10 minutes. Drain and cool.
Cut the bacon into small pieces and cook in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring often. When the bacon is crisp, add the onion and radicchio, stirring to coat the vegetables evenly with the bacon grease. Add the Parmesan Stock (or broth) to the pan, then the oregano and spinach. Toss or stir well and cook until spinach has wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside while peeling the garlic.
Squeeze the softened roasted garlic from the peel. Toss together with the penne, the bacon-radicchio mixture, olive oil, parmesan cheese, and basil. Taste to check seasonings; add salt and pepper, if needed.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
bacon recipe courtesy of: Executive Chef Sarah LaCasse, Earthbound Farm Organic, 1721 San Juan Highway, San Juan Bautista, California 95045