This pasta is made with cold ingredients like tomatoes, rucola, goat’s cheese, roasted peppers, olive oil, garlic, herbs — you name it — that wilt lovely when hot pasta is added.
Pasta Connie is named after the talented Connie Grisley who left the physical world much too soon but is somehow never far from my mind. She made this for us, and easily convinced me this should be a regular. It was her kind of food: loaded with fresh, clean flavors, balanced and beautiful.
One summer we decided to make Pasta Connie when we were camping among giant trees in California. It was a great opportunity to get the teenager to cook (again): Responsible for the crispiness of the bacon, charred-ness of the pepper, and keeping the fire going was an assignment my teenager tackled with fervor. He even boiled the water for the pasta, and strained the cooked strands without dropping any in the dirty campground soil. At the end he kept the fire going long enough for smores.
Best Ever Campfire Pasta
If you make this on a campsite you need: a glowing hot campfire, aluminum foil, a pan large enough to hold the pasta, tongs to remove bacon & stir pasta, sieve to strain the pasta, small chopping board and knife, bowl to hold pasta when done.
1 package (>pound) linguini or other pasta
1 bunch arugula, torn
1 handful basil leaves, torn
1 cup chevre
2 cups different color cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 tablespoons fruity olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
2 bell peppers (1 red, 1 yellow), cut into strips
6 slices bacon
salt/pepper to taste
Place a large roster or grill over the glowing hot campfire, part of it wrapped with aluminum foil. Place the bacon slices on it, away from the hottest part of the fire. Gently render the bacon until crisp. Roast the bell pepper in the bacon fat at the same time over the campfire.
Bring a large pot with water to a boil on the grill over the hot part of the campfire. When it is boiling, add the pasta and cook for the appropriate time.
In the meantime, mix together in a large bowl: cut tomatoes, torn basil and arugula, olive oil, chèvre, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt/pepper to taste.
When the bacon is crisp, take it off and chop it up roughly. Add to the mix. Do the same with the bell peppers when done.
When the pasta is ready, drain it through a sieve and add hot to the mix. Stir through quickly, and… eat!
p.s. if you prepare some extra bacon and bell pepper, you can keep it wrapped in foil in the cooler for next day’s sandwich!
What is your favorite pasta dish?