Cooking For One: Winter to Spring Pantry Pasta

SPRING DINNER MENU: Avocado and Radish Crostini; Lemon Roasted Asparagus; Carrot Raisin Cookies

It’s officially spring. I know this because when I got down to the subway platform last week, I immediately started to sweat through my tank top. My whole body feels the change in season, especially my stomach. But it’s a strange transitional period for my pantry and crisper. I haven’t quite gotten used to buying fresh vegetables at the beginning of the week again, because, well, there still isn’t a whole lot of green lining the farmers’ market stalls. After all, it was winter only a month ago.

But I saw the first beautiful spring onions the other day, robust white bulbs and all, and I also found a thick bunch of delicate chives. I’ve always been a sucker for fresh herbs, and there is nothing better to freshen up and spring-ify my usual winter lunch special: pantry pasta.

Perhaps it is the post-Passover craze, but for whatever reason, and in spite of my current tank top wearing, I am still craving warm noodles come noon. Ever since the carbonara obsession began back in January, I’ve taken to keeping bacon and pecorino in the fridge for daily use. To spruce up my usual winter meal, this time, I added the chives along with a little lemon and white wine.

The dish didn’t do justice to the full breadth of green that spring will soon have to offer, but it was just enough color to launch me into a new season of pantry pasta, bacon, cheese, and all.

From my kitchen, shedding winter layers (but still eating pasta), to yours,



Lemon Fettuccine with Bacon & Chives
Makes 1 serving

3 slices bacon
1/4 cup white wine
1/2lb fresh fettuccine
2 tbsp finely chopped chives
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup grated pecorino
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp salt

In a small non-stick skillet, cook the bacon over high heat until brown and crispy on both sides. Set aside to cool, and then crumble with your fingers. Turn the heat down to medium-low and deglaze the pan with the white wine. Cook for a minute or two, until the alcohol has burned off. Reserve in a mixing bowl.

In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta until al dente (if fresh, about 2-3 minutes). Add to the bowl with the wine and toss together with the bacon, chives, lemon juice, cheese, salt, and red pepper.

Serve immediately.

Posted in: Single Serving
  • Lainey

    Sounds great. I love to imagine how this dish will transform over the course of spring and summer with simple additions like diced fresh tomatoes, thin strips of zucchini, sage, basil or rosemary. Great basic pasta that could be changed up in so many ways!

  • Frankie

    This is so easy. And it only uses one pot! My ideal. I wonder if you can add broccoli florets? I always seem to have that leftover from the day before. But I didn’t know if the lemon juice would turn the broccoli a weird color.

  • SeattleDee

    Oh, you had me at the first ingredient… I am a confirmed baconaholic! Your pasta is a beautiful transitional dish, and I will frost my servings with a sprinkle of lemon zest and chopped parsley.

  • Megan Lane

    thanks sounds yummy!! i love that it has lemon in it. i think i’ll have to try it :)

  • Emily

    Okay, I tried this recipe last night, and I’m afraid I wasn’t a fan. I don’t know if it’s the pecorino or the lemon. But, something just didn’t jive for me. Maybe it will for others, but I will have to pass on this one. :(

  • BigGirlPhoebz

    Emily–So sorry to hear the recipe didn’t work out for you. I will definitely have to try this again myself to see if my measurements were off. One thing that might have altered the flavors is the wine you used. I know the recipe calls for very little of it, but sometimes if you use an overly oaky chardonnay it can become super intense when reduced and muddy the flavors of a dish. When I made this pasta I had a rather light, slightly fruity Pino Grigio open in my fridge. Again, I’ll definitely try it again to make sure. Thank you for your comment!


  • Caitlyn

    I made this last night and it was super easy, cheap and delicious! I swapped in chicken for bacon because I’m not a big fan of bacon. I just sauteed the chicken in olive oil with a little bit of butter to make up for the lost fat from the bacon and it turned out great.

  • marcella

    It needs onion and garlic for an even better taste.

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