Broccoli Bacon Alfredo

Ingredients:

8 oz. multigrain, whole-wheat or spelt spaghetti
1 lb. broccoli florets, chopped
1 c. frozen peas

4 slices bacon
1 stick butter
1 c. heavy cream
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 c. freshly grated Parmesan
Pasta cooking water, as needed
2 tbsp. fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, snipped (optional)
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Salt
Coarsely ground black pepper

Instructions:

Cook spaghetti according to package directions, adding broccoli florets and frozen peas for the last 5 minutes of cooking. Drain, reserving the cooking water, and set aside. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a medium-size skillet and set aside on a paper towel-lined plate; let cool and break into bite-size pieces.

For the sauce, melt butter and warm cream in a small saucepan. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the Parmesan and stir until melted. Bring to boiling and reduce heat. Boil gently, uncovered, until sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and stir in bacon pieces.

Place spaghetti-vegetable mixture in a large bowl and pour the sauce over it. Toss gently to combine. If needed, thin the mixture to desired consistency with more of the reserved cooking water. Top with snipped parsley and additional grated Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

A Preferencefor Pasta

The Italians may not have invented pasta, but they invented some of the world’s best pasta dishes. There are so many different types of pasta and so many flavorful sauces, the possibilities are limited only by your imagination. Here are several examples from pizzerias around the country:

Burbank Pizzeria & Pasta (burbankpizzeria.com) in Burbank, California, offers a wide variety of pasta dishes, including the Penne All Arrabiata, made with anchovies, capers, black olives, red chilis and tomato sauce.

At Manhattan’s upscale Trattoria Zero Otto Nove (089nyc.roberto089.com), cuttlefish plays the starring role in the Linguini al Nero di Sepp. A relative of the squid and octopus, the cuttlefish is sautéed in garlic, oil and black squid ink and served with linguine.

A Los Angeles eatery renowned for its wood-fired pizzas and southern Italian cuisine, Sotto (sottorestaurant.com) offers the Casarecce, made with a long, tube-like pasta that soaks up the rich flavors of braised lamb ragu, egg and Pecorino cheese.