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Winging It: Pasta e Fagioli with Morels and Bacon

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In the garden

Sunday night after the holidays and not much left in the house. What to do? I had a sample of the new crop of Caballeros from Peru and in cleaning out one of my cabinets, I discovered a stash of dried morel mushrooms. I cooked the bacon and left the pieces to rest on a paper towel and then drained all but a scant bit of the fat. I added a little olive oil and then sauteed onion, garlic, carrots and celery until they were soft. Meanwhile, I soaked the mushrooms in lukewarm water for 20 minutes and then chopped them. The soaking water was strained to a paper towel lined sieve and then all of this was added to the sauteed vegetables, along with some cooked Caballero beans and some of the bean broth. I hope this doesn't sound complicated. It wasn't. The bacon was good but it's really better with pancetta. The bacon and smoke flavors can overwhelm everything, but this was a fine Sunday night dinner with a salad of vinegary greens.


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