As I said in my last post, we’ve been on a Cooking Light kick recently. The next post is most likely going to be another one from the magazine as well. No idea why we got back into them all of a sudden, but they have some good stuff. Maybe it’s the 20 minute dinner ideas or the five ingredient meal like this one, but you can’t argue with quick, simple, and healthy.
This time around, kind of being an ass, I left the recipe open on the counter hoping the wife would see it…like it…and make it. Well, the plan failed and the magazine was just moved to a different counter when I got home. Luckily, my wife is awesome, and after mention of the recipe she was in. We tried to think of ways of making it healthier (like using turkey bacon), but since you need to reuse the bacon grease we knew we needed the real deal. I of course was on board with this meal…well…because, bacon.
After a quick trip to the store, we had the very few ingredients we needed to put this together. Since I found this recipe in the five ingredient section, you know it doesn’t take a lot to get together. It seemed to come together pretty quick and easy. Cook up the bacon, remove, cook the other stuff. We’ve made another recipe like this before and when the veggies cook up in the bacon grease they are down right delicious. In this case, we had some sweet corn laying around so we threw that in as well. Once everything cooked up we mixed the pasta right into the pot on the stove. This just gives everything a good covering in bacon grease (yum). We added the cheese in last and let it get all melty.
Wanting something to go on the side, we went to our standby of the summer: grilled zucchini and squash from the garden, on the grill. Per usual, toss them in a little EVOO, salt, and pepper…grill. In addition to the extra veggies, we wanted something to take the place of garlic bread with the meal. Not only because garlic bread can be high in calories (this house uses Texas Toast), but because we just didn’t have any. We used some Pillsbury Grands! Homestyle Corn Biscuits because they are damned delicious. I told the wife to only make one because I can’t trust myself when there are leftover ones laying around.
Once everything was plated it was time to dig it. As we normally do, we added some red pepper flakes to the pasta just to give it a little extra bite. That being said, damn this was tasty ya’ll. I’m a fan of bacon in any form, but mixed with these simple ingredients it was a great add to the pasta. Talking about the pasta, we went with Ronzoni Smart Taste penne. It was twenty calories less per serving than normal pasta with more fiber to boot. It was actually really good and didn’t leave you regretting you used a healthy option.
All in all a really satisfying meal. Another hit from Cooking Light. I’m pretty sure that we already have plans to make this again. And hey…I’m not complaining as it gave me leftover bacon to eat throughout the week. Did you know two slices of center cut bacon are only 50 calories?!? GET IN MY BELLY!
- 8 ounces uncooked mezze penne pasta
- 6 center-cut bacon slices $$
- 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 (6-ounce) package baby spinach
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ounce fresh Romano cheese, finely grated (about 1/4 cup)
- Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon; cook 6 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; crumble. Add tomatoes and salt to drippings in pan; cook 3 minutes or until tomatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. Add spinach and pasta to pan; cook 1 minute or just until spinach begins to wilt, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle pasta with bacon, pepper, and cheese.