The simplicity of the few core ingredients in this recipe does not eliminate the great taste and richness that can be built into a bowl of simple honest to goodness pasta. Actually, it does need a little attention to carmelize the onions to soft and golden sweet perfection, but the rest of the dish is a comforting dance of tantalizing flavors, tates and textures. The colors are vivid too, since I use ripe soft black mission figs.
Actually, before I move futher onto the recipe, I think today we had a milestone event. I actually realized its impact now as I sit and spend and indulge in my quite hour. Yes, dear reader my quite time is when I browse though my food pictures or write up the recipes so that they do not disappear to far away from me. The milestone was that today, we actually sat down together with both the kids and another family and enjoyed a meal without major disruption. The kids are growing up slowly but they are actually begining to get to the point where they are participating with us in various ways. The food part of it is especially interesting, since we all had Indian food. My daughter was surprised that her friend not only enjoyed the meal, but could participate in it happily. This is actually one of the huge benefits of people coming in and learning to cook Indian food with me, it allows my children to realize that Indian food is much loved by everyone. It also in turn fuels their interest in trying and sharing other aspects of their culture with their friends of other heritages.
One of my weakness is bacon, and working with the bacon fat. Before you raise your eyebrows, let me tell you that I do not indulge in this every day, but there are days like this weekend that I relish and savor my naughty obsession with soft ripe luscious tasting figs.
In fact, I have been introduced to my Sunday bacon indulgences many moons back. by a bad boyfriend, who I guess could infamously be listed as my first love. Actually, the bad boyfriend was a great cook, and had in his time broadened my horizons a lot about the diversity of regional Indian cooking. In a day much younger, we did not really worry so much about saturated fat and I have over time learnt to modify and reduce some of the South Indian coastal cuisine that I learnt from him.
Look what I did, I instead married a man who taught me to love my vegetables. However, while I have not given up on my love for bacon I reserve my savoring for that occasional Sunday, when I need, want and enjoy the salty, greasy richness with ripe seasonal figs. This is the first year that our fig tree will be offering and sharing its fruits with us, although this recipe is more of a trial run with commercial produce.
To marry the sweetness with the salty richness of the bacon, the figs have been roasted with a touch of balsamic vinegar and pieced together with earthy goat cheese. Not a lot, just enought to offer a contast and balance. The pasta chosen here is angel hair, that I cook to an al dente texture and then I toss it all together. I think that you can use any pasta of your choice.
A simple, elegant and downright seductive mix of flavors and tastes that come together in a very simple and elegant pasta
- 8 ounces ripe black mission figs (about 12-14)
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 5 slices thick cut bacon
- 2 large sweet vidalia onions or 11/2 pounds of cippolini onions, thinly sliced
- 2 pods, garlic pressed
- 8 ounces dried angel hair pasta
- 1/3 cup goat cheese
- Salt and Water to boil the pasta
- Black Pepper to finish
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Quarter the figs and arrange the figs in a bakeproof dish and sprinkle with the balsamic vinegar.
- Roast the figs for 15 minutes and remove from the oven.
- While the figs are cooking place the bacon in a single layer in a large deep skillet and cook until crisp and golden.
- Place the bacon on paper towels to drain and then chop into pieces.
- In the bacon grease add the garlic and the onions and gently cook on medium low heat, until the onions soften and gently turn a rich toffee color. This will take about 15 minutes.
- While the onions are cooking, heat water with some salt in a large cooking pot and bring the pasta to boil, cook for about 5 minutes or per package instructions.
- Drain the pasta.
- Remove the onions with a slotted spoon to remove any excess fat, they will be soft and moist in texture.
- Place the pasta and the add in the bacon and the onions and mix well.
- Lightly toss in the figs and the goat cheese and mix well.
- Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and serve immediately