Something that I do to save money is to simply not go grocery shopping. Grocery shopping for me invariably leads me to spend $50, so sometimes, I just don't go. I don't go at all and just use up whatever things I have at home and sometimes I cook something funky, but a lot of times something edible comes out of it. This was one of those times when I had decided that I wanted to not go grocery shopping for a week and to just eat up everything and anything I had at home. It is really a very simple dish, but one that my kids ended up loving. There isn't much not to love when it has bacon in it, but what I really like about it is the combination of the bacon with the broccoli and the garlic. Somehow the three of them put together makes some really yummy pasta. With the few pantry staples, I got this fast pasta meal and it satisfies both kids and me.
If you are trying to do the same thing and not go shopping and all you have is some ham, asparagus and garlic, I say go ahead and go for it. Sauteed in olive oil, and then tossed together with spaghetti, garlic with a green vegetable and a salty protein goes a long way to create this dish. Oh! And if you don't have spaghetti, feel free to substitute some other pasta shape instead. I just had spaghetti.
Spaghetti with Bacon, Broccoli and Garlic
1 lb spaghetti noodles
3/4 lb to 1 lb of bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (if you really like bacon go for the 1 lb...if you don't have that much bacon, just use what you have.)
10-15 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced (use the range - if you like it more garlicky, add more, otherwise use 10)
3/4 lb of broccoli, cut into small chunks (the smaller, the quicker to cook fully)
1/4 cup chicken stock
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot of salted water, cook spaghetti according to package directions. Rinse and drain and set aside.
In a cold, large frying pan (cold meaning it is not on the stove preheating, and large meaning one big enough to hold all the ingredients for the final toss), add bacon. Place pan on stove and turn stove heat to medium. Allow bacon to cook slowly, rendering the fat, for about 3 minutes. Add garlic and continue to cook for another minute. Add broccoli and allow the three ingredients to cook together, browning and cooking together. When broccoli looks green and vibrant and is bite tender, (about 7 minutes) add chicken stock and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste and then toss in spaghetti noodles. Toss and continue to toss well, mixing all the ingredients, adding more olive oil if the pasta looks dry. Check seasons and salt and pepper if necessary. Serve with Parmesan cheese.