Sometimes I really don’t feel like cooking at all. If it were for me, I would be happy with bread and cheese (cannot live without cheese!) and a glass fo wine. Or even a greasy chinese takeaway! However with two small kids, one has to make the effort to cook a balanced meal. The few times where I was too tired to even turn on the hob, and I prepared for dinner a sandwich, I had to face a mutiny from my oldest child (7 years old going on 15), because I dared not to give her a proper dinner. Sometimes I wonder how easy would have been if I didn’t enjoy cooking so much! That’s where pasta with spinach and bacon comes. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s tasty. And I can spend most of the time sitting on the sofa, waiting for the water to boil, or the pasta to cook. The sauce is ready in 5 minutes. It’s my recipe of choice when I come back from the most tiring and busy workshops, and the only thing I want to do is to crawl to bed.
Ingredients for 4 portions:
400 gr of pasta, preferably pasta bows, or rigatoni
300 gr of fresh baby spinach
100 gr of smoked pancetta or smoked lardons
1 or 2 tbsps of extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Grated parmesan, to serve
- To prepare your pasta with spinach and bacon, start by bringing to boil a large casserole of water. When reached the boiling point, add the salt, let it melt, then tip in your pasta. Let cook on high heat for 9-10 minutes, until cooked al dente.
- Meanwhile prepare your sauce. Cook the lardons in a non-stick pan, without adding any oil: they will cook in their own fat. As they cook, wash your spinach leaves. Set aside. Add 1-2 tbsps of extravirgin olive oil to the pan, then add the spinach, and sautee for couple of minutes. Season to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Save a cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta and tip it over the spinach and bacon. Pour in the rerserved cooking water, then saute for a couple of minutes, stirring costantly, until the water has evaporated and the spinach and starchy water have coated well the pasta.
- Serve immediately with plenty of grated parmesan.
To make it richer and tastier (and quicker!), you can use fresh egg pasta instead, such as pappardelle or garganelli.