Pâtes aux Lardons // French Pasta with Bacon and Gruyere
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
Pâtes aux lardons—creamy pasta studded with thick, luscious cubes of French bacon—is a popular any-night dish in France. Here, I’ve substituted American thick-cut bacon for the harder-to-find Frenchstyle lardons. If you wish to make lardons, you’ll need to cube your own from slab (or unsliced) bacon, which is sometimes available in the meat case at your supermarket, though you may have to order it in advance. Sliced bacon works just fine for a quick Tuesday-night dinner.
  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups (2 percent) or whole milk, plus more if needed
  • 1¾-inch-thick slice of a medium-size onion
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyère, Emmental, or Comté cheese (4 ounces)
  • ¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or another hard-aged cheese
  • (1 ounce)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces dried tagliatelle or fettucine
  • ¼ cup snipped fresh parsley and/or chives
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta.
  2. In a large saucepan, cook the bacon over medium heat until firm through but not hard. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Drain the fat from the pan.
  3. Melt the butter in the pan; whisk in the flour to make a smooth paste; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Do not allow the flour mixture to brown. Slowly add the milk, whisking until smooth. Add the onion and garlic and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the onion and garlic from the sauce and discard. Add the cheeses to the sauce and whisk until melted and smooth. If the sauce seems too thick, stir in up to ½ cup more milk to reach the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the bacon.
  4. While preparing the sauce, cook the pasta according to the package directions; drain and return to the pot.
  5. Toss the pasta with the sauce. Divide among four wide, shallow bowls, sprinkle with parsley and serve. Makes 4 servings.
Recipe by Wini Moranville at http://chezbonnefemme.com/its-monday-invite-someone-over-for-dinner-tonight/