Pasta with Bacon, Fennel and Parmesean Cheese
- 1/2 pound orzo pasta
- 4 slices thick cut, smoky bacon, chopped Hickory Smoked Bacon
- 1 bulb fennel, cut into 1/4" dice
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups house made chicken stock
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Freshly ground pepper
Bring a large pot of water and a pinch of salt to a boil while the sauce is being prepared. When water comes to a boil, add pasta, stir and cook, until al dente. Drain pasta through a colander and drizzle a little olive oil over the pasta and season with salt. Stir and reserve.
In a medium saute pan over medium heat, add the bacon and cook, stirring frequently, until the fat is rendered and it is crisp and golden brown. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to a bowl lined with paper towels. Reserve.
In remaining fat, saute the fennel with a pinch of salt until just tender, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, stir to combine and saute until fragrant, 1 minute.
Add wine and scrape bottom of pan to remove any browned bits. Simmer to reduce wine by half and add broth. Bring to a simmer and adjust seasoning with saly and freshly ground pepper. Add enough pasta to the pan to balance the other ingredients, along with 3/2 of the parmesan cheese and the crisp bacon. Stir or toss the pasta to combine all ingredients. Serve immediately garnished with freshly ground pepper and remaining cheese.
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