Six ingredients and about 20 minutes is all you need to whip up this simple and delicious Bacon Spinach and Tomato Pasta dish, a.k.a. BLT Pasta. The flavor secret is by making the most of the ingredients. Perfect for a light dinner or lunch!
12ouncescherry tomatoeshalved, may substitute grape tomatoes
5cupsbaby spinachI also like to use a blend of baby arugula and baby spinach when available
4ouncesParmesan cheesegrated and divided
Chop bacon and cook in skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes; transfer to paper towel lined plate.
Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat left in skillet (I didn't have too much). Cook garlic and tomatoes in bacon fat until tomatoes are slightly softened, about 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil in a large pan. Add pasta and cook, stirring often, until al dente. Reserve 1 1/2 cups cooking water then drain pasta and return it to pot.
Add bacon, garlic-tomato mixture, arugula, 1/2 cup Parmesan and 1 cup reserved cooking water and toss to combine.
Season with salt and pepper if desired and add reserved cooking water as needed to adjust consistency.
Serve with extra Parmesan.
MAKE AHEAD TIP: This recipe is so quick, there's really not much to make ahead although you could make ahead the bacon, garlic and tomato mixture then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one day until you are ready to prepare the rest of the recipe. MONEY SAVING TIP:
Use homegrown tomatoes to save money in this recipe!
Also, my grocery store sometimes marks down the baby arugula or baby arugula/baby spinach selling it at 50% off and the expiration usually still has a day or two left for it!
TASTY NOTE:This dish is best served fresh and warm although the leftovers I had the next day were still pretty tasty!