August 27, 2014 § 64 Comments
There is something exceptionally comforting about a bowl of pasta tossed with your favorite ingredients. Even in the summertime a lovely herbaceous parsley pesto with a sprinkling of dry chili flakes is a perfect way to wind down and and enjoy the end of a hot summer day. BLT sandwiches happen to be a favorite around here, so why not toss the ingredients together with a nice pasta such as mezze penne? Rather than lettuce we used spinach. Bacon “leafy green” tomato pasta.
The steps are quite simple. You put eight slices of center cut bacon in a large skillet over medium heat and a pot of water on the stove to boil. After the bacon is cooked to a crisp remove from the skillet and set aside. Prepare the pesto and set aside. Leave the kitchen for five minutes with both a pile of cooked bacon sitting on the counter and your hungry sixteen year old son sitting at the kitchen table with his computer. Return to the kitchen and find there are only 4 slices left! What? Yes, that is exactly what happened. Our BLT pasta only had a total of four slices of bacon. Although wonderfully delicious, next time I make this (and I will) I’ll keep a better eye on that bacon!
I n g r e d i e n t s
- 1 pound mezze penne pasta
- 8 center cut bacon slices
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves, rinsed and dried
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- handful fresh parsley (about 1 cup once it is finely chopped)
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt (about 1/2 teaspoon)
Put a large pot of water on the stove over high heat and bring to a boil.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon; cook 6 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, slice and set aside. Keep the skillet on the stove (no heat) with the bacon fat in it.
To make the pesto, put the parsley, parmesan, garlic, and salt in a food processor and pulse for a few seconds to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then pulse again. Drizzle in the olive oil while the machine is running just long enough to incorporate the oil. Set aside while waiting for the pasta to cook.
Reheat skillet and add tomatoes to the bacon drippings; cook 3 minutes or until tomatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.
Drain the penne and return to the pot. Toss with the pesto sauce until well coated. Add the tomatoes and spinach to pasta and gently toss.
Serve with crumbled bacon and a sprinkling of parmesan.