Friday, August 8, 2014

BLT Pasta

I hope everyone had a great summer. In Tucson where I grew up, the kids are already in school for the fall semester. What did you do over the summer?

My husband and I recently took a wonderful trip to see family in Oregon. Because our only car is a standard transmission that is exactly 20 years old, we decided to rent a car. We reserved a "Toyota Corolla or Similar."

Imagine my surprise when they gave me a 2014 Mustang as a free upgrade because they were out of Corollas. Very cool!

We hit the road and about 4 hours into our drive stopped for gas in the tiniest town you've ever seen. Unfortunately I couldn't find the gas tank release anywhere. I called my husband over and we both started pushing all the fancy Mustang buttons, trying to figure out how to fill a car with gas.

Finally we found simple instructions in the user manual that made us feel a bit ridiculous, but we got on our way again.

Anyway, happy end of summer and I hope you all had a great vacation.

Right now we still have lots of summer produce at our local farmer's market, including the spinach and tomato I use in this recipe. This recipe can be ready in 45 minutes (including the preparation of cooking the bacon and chopping the vegetables). Also, besides the optional Parmesan cheese topping, it is milk free.

BLT Pasta        

                      Serves 3                      Ready in 45 minutes


3 bacon strips, cooked with 1 tablespoon fat reserved (for cooking the onions)
2 cups small pasta
1/2 a small onion, chopped fine (about 3/4 - 1 cup)
1 teaspoon pressed garlic (about 2-3 cloves)
1 medium Roma tomato, seeded and diced (about 3/4 cup)--or 2 if you love      tomatoes
1/2 cup broth
1 teaspoon vinegar (I suggest cider vinegar)
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups spinach, sliced
Salt as needed
Parmesan cheese (optional)


1) Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

2) Meanwhile, saute onion in 1 tablespoon bacon fat for 4-5 minutes over medium heat. Add garlic and Roma tomato. Cook additional 4-5 minutes until fragrant and onions are slightly browned.

3) Add broth, vinegar, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and salt. Bring to just boiling and then reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes.

4) Stir in cooked pasta, crumpled bacon and sliced spinach. Cover and cook over medium until just warmed and spinach is looking cooked, about 3 minutes. Covering it will help the spinach to steam. Taste and add salt if needed--this will depend on how much salt was in your broth.

5) If desired, serve with Parmesan cheese.

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