Monday, January 28, 2013


yields four servings 

6 ounces pitted black olives, drained
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 teaspoon capers
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 ounces spaghetti
5 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
1 clove garlic, minced
8 ounces cream cheese, softened, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
freshly grated parmesan cheese and additional chopped fresh basil for garnish, optional 

In the bowl of a food processor, place the olives, chopped garlic, anchovy paste, capers, lemon zest, walnuts, chopped basil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Process until finely chopped. With the processor running, stream in the olive oil and process until fully combined; set aside. 

Bring 3-4 quarts of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Break spaghetti in half lengthwise, add to boiling water and salt according to taste. Cook spaghetti according to package directions to al dente. Drain, reserving about 1 cup of pasta water; set both spaghetti and pasta water aside. 

Meanwhile, heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add in the bacon and cook until crisp, approximately 4-5 minutes; remove bacon from skillet and set aside. Remove and discard all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings from the skillet. Place skillet with bacon drippings back over medium heat. Add in the onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until softened, approximately 3-4 minutes. Add in the minced garlic, cook 1 additional minute. To the onions, add in the reserved olive tapenade mixture, cream cheese and about 1/4 cup of the pasta water and cook until cream cheese melts, approximately 1-2 minutes. Add in the reserved spaghetti, reserved bacon, minced basil, lemon juice, crushed red pepper flakes, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper; mix until fully combined, adding in enough of the remaining pasta water to loosen up the cream cheese mixture and create a sauce. 

To serve, place spaghetti onto a serving platter or dinner plate and garnish with parmesan cheese and additional fresh basil.

bacon recipe courtesy of: Sirbarney (member),

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