Pasta with Belgian Endive and Bacon

Yesterday my first-grader had his first fall in a couple of years. He is a very cautious kid and rarely gets hurt, ahem runs in the family. But yesterday the caregiver called from school and informed me that he needed to be picked up. So I went expecting…well I was totally prepared to be underwhelmed. Instead, I saw some parents and kids milling around my son, totally impressed by how manfully he was holding up. There was a giant friction burn on his left cheek which looked pretty spectacular I have to say. The little guy was quiet the whole way home. And then melted into a puddle of tears, fairly justified obviously because those things hurt like hell!

But after a glass of chocolate milk and some painkiller action (so he could open his jaw again), a round of playing on my iPad (a rare treat), he was feeling a lot better. But  he finally perked up at dinner-time. I love Belgian endive but have a hard time convincing the two men to eat it raw. Well, the husband will eat anything if it has bacon in it, so in the past I have made a pretty nice salad of Belgian endive with bacon. But the son refused to eat it after the first bite, rightly pointing out that it was “bitter”. So I decided to braise the Belgian endive with the bacon. The result is pretty good, I have to say. You don’t get the bitterness anymore and braising makes the vegetable quite luscious.

There are no quantities for this recipe, because you don’t need any. Cook your pasta according to package instructions. Fry up some bacon, add an almost equal amount by weight of Belgian endive (equal in weight to the pasta, the vegetable has a lot of water, so it will cook down to almost nothing in the end). Once the vegetable is soft, add a splash of Aceto Balsamico or balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix with pasta and enjoy.

The first-grader ate two big portions and revived so much that by the time his father came home, the story of his “accident” was narrated with much animation and energy. A far-cry from that puddle an hour ago.






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