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Spooky Spaghetti

My best pasta combinations always start the same way: I'm in dire need of a grocery run. That's what happened when I opened my fridge and found half a package of bacon and a parsnip. But about 20 minutes later, twirling up a forkful of noodles, I discovered the serendipitous perfection of the mildly sweet parsnip, mixed with salty, savory bacon and an almost unreasonable amount of grated parmesan.

In order to make the dish sufficiently spooky, you'll have to pick up some special spaghetti noodles. If you're feeling extra sophisticated, opt for squid ink pasta. Unfortunately, these black, silky noodles aren't your average grocery item, and you won't be able to find them in any of Oxford's grocery stores. Order them online in advance, or, take the cheaper route and buy a box of "SuperGreens" spaghetti. Made with five different green vegetables, this particular pasta brand is a deep green shade that will still maintain your meal's creepy aesthetic.

As you let the noodles boil, fry up a few slices of bacon -- thick cut, preferably -- until crisp. Set the bacon strips aside and dump the grease, but don't wash or rinse the skillet. Peel one parsnip and slice into small slivers, chopping the larger slices into quarters. In the same skillet, fry up the parsnips. The remnants of bacon grease will help the parsnips fry up, but also add in a splash of olive oil. Sprinkle heavily with parsley and black pepper.

When the parsnips start to brown, add cooked spaghetti noodles to the skillet. Crumble the cooked bacon over the pasta. Add a splash of heavy cream and toss, mixing the parsnips and bacon evenly throughout the noodles.

Grab your block of parmesan and grate it right over the skillet. Be generous. Don't measure, just keep adding more cheese -- and perhaps another sprinkle of parsley or splash of cream -- stirring and tossing until the sweet and savory smell is so intense you can't stand to wait before piling it high into a bowl and twirling up a forkful.