Friday, April 15, 2011

BLT Pasta

I made something similar to this dish several months ago when I had my mom and sister over for dinner. I kept craving it, but knew I wanted to change it a little bit. I'm glad I finally got back to the dish because after a few tweaks, this dish instantly became some delicious comfort food!

I love the combination of flavors going on here. First of all tomato and basil are an amazing duo and really brighten the dish. Next, the Parmesan and bacon contrast that with a little saltiness, and, of course, the pasta ties it all together. Oh, and I can't forget to mention the spinach, which served as the "lettuce" and adds heaps of color and good nutrition.

BLT Pasta
12 slices smoky bacon, cut into half-inch dice
1 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
A handful of parsley, chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
A pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 pint (about 2 cups) cherry tomatoes, quartered (or other less-juicy tomato like Roma)
1/2 cup chicken broth
Salt and pepper
3/4 pound bowtie pasta
4 cups baby spinach, coarsely chopped
1 cup basil leaves, about 20 leaves, torn or coarsely chopped

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat; add bacon and brown to crisp. Remove bacon and drain on paper towels. Leave about 3-4 tablespoons of drippings in the skillet, add the Panko crumbs and toast to golden brown. Add the parsley and grated Parmesan. Toss to combine, turn off heat and reserve the crumbs.

Bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Salt water and cook bowties to al dente. Drain pasta and pour into a 2-quart baking or serving dish.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Add onions, garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook to soften, about 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add chicken broth and diced tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Add fresh tomatoes, along with the reserved bacon, basil and baby spinach. Let simmer for another minute or so until the spinach just barely wilts. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Pour sauce over bowties and toss to coat. Sprinkle with reserved bread crumb mixture. Serve warm.

SOURCE:Adapted from Rachael Ray and Let's Dish


  1. Yummy!!! Can't wait to try this!!

  2. Looks refreshing and full of flavor, I would love a sample


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