Pasta with Bacon, Walnuts and Blue Cheese

I went to watch my friend Gail dance in a ballroom dancing competition, and I’ve finally come to terms with the idea that my secret dreams of going on So, You Think You Can Dance and making Mary Murphy stand up and cry are over.  I can’t even walk in heels anymore, much less dance in them.  So, I came home and made this pasta to celebrate another moment of reality — it’s super delicious and goes together in the time it takes to cook the pasta.

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Serves 6

1 lb. dry fettuccine

8 slices bacon, cut into large dice

2 cloves garlic, chopped

Pinch of red pepper flakes

1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil

2 T. walnut oil

1/2 c. toasted walnuts, chopped

2 T. minced parsley

3 oz. blue cheese (Pt. Reyes — but I love Cambazola —  mmmm!), crumbled

Optional:  oil cured sun-dried tomatoes, shredded rotisserie chicken)

Bring 8 cups of salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes.

While the pasta is cooking, heat a large saute pan until very hot.  Add the bacon, and cook until crispy.  Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside; reserve the bacon fat in the pan.  Add the garlic to the hot bacon fat and saute quickly, about 30 seconds.  Add the oilve oil and walnut oil, and remove the pan from the heat.

Before draining the pasta, take about 1/2 cup of the cooking water and place it in a large bowl.  Add the garlic and oil mixture and whisk.  Add the drained pasta, toss well, and then add the walnuts and crumbled blue cheese and toss well.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve warm, garnished with the crispy bacon and parsley.

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