Friday, January 13, 2012

BLT Bow Ties

              Have you ever looked in your refrigerator and asked yourself, “Where did all of the food go?” followed by, “What in the world are we going to eat tonight?” Hopefully you haven’t, but just recently this occurred to me. Seriously, my fridge was so bare it was embarrassing. To make matters worse, when I realized this it was also dinner time and I was one hungry teacher, haha. Okay, corny I know. Anyway, let’s just say we had to eat and it had to be quick! Take-out would be most people’s remedy to this situation, yet I was not in the mood for pizza or Chinese. I scoured my cabinets and accepted the fact that if I was going to make dinner tonight, it would have to pasta: it was all I had, it was the quickest start-to-finish meal I could think of, and oh yeah, I LOVE pasta!
                Now for the harder part….what to make with it. Nothing was defrosted, um no actually there was nothing to even defrost! Yikes……I went back to the fridge and found a few things I could work with: bacon, tomatoes, and a ½ bag of baby spinach. Well, bacon works with practically anything, tomatoes are kind of in everything I make, and who couldn’t use some spinach to round out their day? Done: bacon-lettuce-tomato pasta was born!
                Oh and she was a beauty no doubt! Honestly, I felt like I had just won Chopped while eating this dish. The spinach wilted perfectly with the tomato-based broth and the crispy bacon offered great texture to each bite. MMMMmmmmMMMMM, I couldn’t believe this was my first time cooking this combo. Now I do hope that I work on stocking up my fridge a little more in the future, but I can’t say that this dinner will encourage me to do so!

BLT Bow Ties
Serves: 2-4

OBJ: TCW be able to take what’s left in her bare refrigerator and turn it into a satisfying meal

½ lb tri-colored bow tie or Farfalle pasta
3 slices bacon, cut into ½ inch pieces
3 plum tomatoes, diced
½ of a 6 ounce bag baby spinach (about 3 cups)
½ onion, minced
½  TBS extra virgin olive oil
½ TBS unsalted butter
2 TBS Parmesan cheese
 S & P: salt and pepper
Red pepper flakes, optional

1. Boil water for pasta and cook according to package directions, reserving 1/3 C pasta water
2. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, cook bacon over medium heat. Add a pinch pepper and stir frequently until browned and crisp (about 5-8 minutes)
3. Remove bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and drain most of bacon drippings from pan
4. Add oil and butter to pan and let heat over medium-low flame. Add onion, a pinch S, P, and red pepper flakes and stir well to get bottom bits. Let cook until onions are softened, about 8 minutes
5. Add tomatoes, another small pinch of S & P, stir, and cover for 10 minutes over low flame-should be a simmer (FYI- this is when I would add my pasta to boiling water)
6. Uncover pan, add spinach, drained pasta, Parmesan cheese, bacon, and reserved pasta water. Toss well over medium flame until well incorporated
7. Bring to table and serve!

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