Travel Edition: Lousiville, KY (+BACON pasta)
I think I’ve finally woken up from my Thanksgiving Day food coma. Three weeks later….
Sorry guys. I have been productive though! Over our brief Thanksgiving break, hubby and I visited dear foodie/beer snob friends of ours in Louisville, Kentucky. We decided to spend our Friday afternoon on a little beer tour of the city. We visited a local brew-pub, beer store, AND brewery, all of which were stellar.Turns out, Louisville has a bumping beer scene going right now. Who knew?
The first stop was Against the Grain Brewing, a great brewpub serving its very own, very tasty beer. We got a flight to share, and were all pleasantly surprised at the range this brewery had. Also, the nachos were bomb. Next stop on the tour was the Louisville Beer Store. At the Beer Store, you can drink a glass of beer or enjoy a sampler (?!?!?), while perusing their crazy, amazing beer selection. I loved this place so much I couldn’t leave without a t-shirt. My only irritation was that the women’s t-shirts were seemingly made for 8 year old girls meaning I required a shirt two sizes larger than usual. Seriously, what is that about? The beer makes up for everything though. Oh the beer. Beer from all over the world!! Belgian, French, Canadian, Japanese, it was all there. Walls of beer. I imagine that this is what heaven is like.
Next stop on our tour was the practically brand new brewery, Apocalypse Brew Works. This microbrewery, while small, is not.messing.around. They open up for tastings on Fridays and Saturdays to serve their delicious beer and have food trucks come to their parking lot. Genius!! The St. Christopher Abbey Trippel they made absolutely rocked my world. Phenomenal.
There are so many up and coming beer-devoted establishments in Louisville that there was no way we could make it to all of them. These few were a great first start. Plus, now we have lots of reasons to visit again. Keep it up Louisville!
OK, on to the tasty meal pictured at top. By now you know that I have serious love for bacon. I mean, who doesn’t?
This dish has bacon, caramelized onions, roasted grape tomatoes and Parmesan cheese. I added a few handfuls of peas to balance it all out though, completely negates all the bacon… at least that’s what I tell myself.
Bacon and Roasted Tomato Linguine
6 slices of bacon
1 onion, sliced thin
1 large pack of grape tomatoes
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 lb linguine pasta
1 cup or more reserved pasta water
1/2 cup of finely shredded Parmesan cheese
Start by preheating your oven to 375, then fry up your bacon in a skillet till completely cooked. Remove and set the bacon aside. Put your grape tomatoes with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, onto a non-stick baking sheet and bake. After about 20 minutes, take the tomatoes out and shake them up for even baking. These are done once the tomatoes have burst a bit and have a nice light char to them. Once you’ve got the tomatoes going, add the onions to your bacon fat (remove some if you want to reduce calories) and saute on medium heat. Add a bit of salt to taste. Let your onions get nice and caramelized, not stirring too much. This will take some time (~30-40 minutes). Once the onions are about done, start your linguine with well salted water and cook until al dente.
Add your roasted tomatoes to the onions, turning on low if the pasta isn’t quite ready. Remove about a cup and a half of pasta water and add the linquine into your onions and tomatoes. Next add your cheese, stirring constantly and slowly adding pasta water in, making sure it gets absorbed. It might seem like a watery weird mess at first, but just keep stirring and it will turn into a beautiful, light sauce. You might not use all of your pasta water, or you might need more so just be patient. Taste the pasta and add salt and pepper if needed. If you want you can add peas like I did, or baby spinach would be fantastic too, you know, if you feel guilty not adding a little greenery in. Crumble up your reserved bacon and add on top of the plated pasta (as much as you like). I also added a little extra cheese on top. It just felt right. Enjoy this dish with your favorite beer of the moment. Would probably be best paired with something suited to your smoky bacon… maybe a nice stout or porter. Mmmhmmmmmm.