When I did my menu plans for last week I only made it as far as Wednesday, leaving Thursday as a "throw something together" day. So when Thursday rolled around, I started to panic. I don't like not having a plan! Jon and I were texting back and forth for a few hours trying to figure out what to make. We both didn't have any strong cravings, and didn't feel like making anything too time consuming or that would produce a lot of dirty pots and pans.
For inspiration, I went through my starred recipes in Google Reader and came across this recipe for Bacon Ranch Pasta with Spinach and Tomatoes on the blog Simple Gourmet Cooking. And then I found out that this is actually an original creation by my friend, the author of the blog A Taste of Home Cooking and it has made its way around the food blog world. I texted the title of the recipe to Jon, and his response was "Bleeeeccchh." See, he pictured pouring a bottle of ranch dressing over the pasta. I'm a little disappointed that he could even think that I'd do that! I explained the recipe to him and he agreed to give it a shot.
While I was cooking my parents called so I invited them to come over - I always make more than enough food. But when my mom heard the name of the recipe she wasn't sure. So I explained it to her and she said she'd give it a try too. And my dad, well he'll eat anything I make!
It was definitely worth trying! What a great creation my friend came up with! The sauce was delicious, and did have a similarity to ranch dressing. We all really liked it, and everyone had seconds. Except Jon...he had thirds!
Bacon Ranch Pasta with Spinach and Tomatoes
Adapted from: A Taste of Home Cooking
- 1/2 lb bacon
- 1 lb short cut pasta, such as penne or rigatoni
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
- Olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 onion, sliced
- 2 cups light cream
- 1 bag baby spinach
- 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
- Grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Cook bacon. Allow the bacon to cool, then crumble.
- In a small bowl, combine parsley, pepper, salt, garlic powder, onion powder and thyme.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in skillet large enough to hold the pasta over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, saute 1 minute.
- Add cream and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and add seasoning mixture from step 2 and some cheese - about 1/2 c. Stir.
- Add the pasta and spinach. Toss until the spinach wilts.
- Add some of the bacon, toss to combine.
- Top with additional bacon and cheese.
Print this post