Spotlight on a Great Man and Friend

Earlier in May, New Direction IRA lost a valued colleague and friend, Colin Richards. He was a loving husband and immensely dedicated father with an infectious sense of humor and numerous talents. Colin brought smiles to our office and to anyone who had the pleasure of knowing him.

He loved to cook and explore new recipes, often sharing his favorites with all of us. In our weekly Lunch & Learn class, Colin provided some “Beat the Heat” options for delicious meals that wouldn’t engulf our homes in unbearable heat during the summer months. On another occasion, he taught us how to make our own ice cream.

Colin was our Employee Spotlight for last year’s June newsletter and, in typical Colin fashion, injected his own personal flair and took a pass on the scripted questions. He provided one of his favorite recipes, of course. Colin’s “Penne Pasta with Bacon” is described below, complete with his particular brand of enthusiastic commentary.

Colin will be sorely missed.

Penne Pasta with Bacon

There are few meals in my house that are as great as Penne Pasta with Bacon. I love it. It’s my idea of comfort food.

  • 1 lb. penne pasta
  • ½ lb. bacon
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 10 cloves of garlic chopped
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Prepare the pasta as packaged, making sure not to overcook it. You almost want it a tiny bit underdone, as it will cook more in the oil later.

While the pasta is cooking, core and chop the cauliflower. You want bite-sized pieces or smaller if you can.

Cut the bacon into ½ inch pieces and fry over medium-low heat in a large pot (don’t use a pan for this, as you are going to add a lot of stuff to it before it’s done). Once it is cooked, add a ¼ to ½ cup of olive oil, a palm-full of the red pepper flakes, and the chopped garlic (you can add more or less of the red pepper flakes and garlic, depending on your preferences). The second the garlic starts to color, add all the cauliflower and give everything a good stir. You want to coat the cauliflower in the hot oil as best you can. Clamp the lid on it and turn the heat to low. Stir every once in a while until the cauliflower is very tender, which should take about fifteen to twenty minutes. Check for salt at this point and add a fair amount of black pepper. Add in the pasta and stir to combine. Serve with a loaf of good bread and Chianti red wine. This recipe feeds five to six in most households with some leftovers.

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