Picture this: A cold winter’s night, a cheery fire, a bottle of red, and a dish that comes to the table hot and bubbling and irresistibly aromatic. What is it? A gratin, of course — pasta and bacon bathed in a creamy sauce with garlic and thyme, topped with grated cheese and baked until golden. It’s cold-weather comfort food at its finest, the No. 1 favorite of the younger set in our house, but (blush) a crowd pleaser with the older set, too.
Gratin de tortiglioni aux lardons / Pasta gratin with bacon and thyme
What I particularly appreciate about this recipe is that it’s the kind of dish you can make in half an hour without a major shopping expedition. Good for evenings when guests unexpectedly arrive — serve it as a main dish with a green salad on the side. (This is a fine meal for vegetarians, too. Simply omit the bacon.) On the other hand, if you plan ahead, gratin de tortiglioni makes a wonderful side dish for roasts and even stews. For a hearty meal, try serving it, for example, with boeuf bourguigon.
Here’s a winter’s evening menu suggestion with this gratin in pride of place: assiette de crudités, gratin de tortiglioni, salade verte, poires au vin. (The latter, pears in red wine, is not on the site yet. You will find it here next week.) Happy cooking!