Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wednesday Pasta

Wednesday Pasta
I know this is a horrible name for a dish, but I used to make it on Wednesdays for myself because I was the only person home… and it was fast, easy, and yummy. When I’ve fed it to “grown-ups,” they’ve really liked it, too… and I still make it on many Wednesdays when the boys aren’t home to complain. I have tried to think of another name for it, but as someone once told me, "it’s ALWAYS been called Wednesday pasta," so I guess that’s what it’ll have to continue to be.

Ingredients:
  • 1 pint cherry (or grape) tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 medium jalapeño, finely chopped 
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 handful chopped bacon (~ 1/3 cup?)
  • ½ bag fresh baby spinach
  • To taste kosher salt
  • To taste fresh cracked pepper
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp  extra virgin olive oil
  • handful of fresh basil leaves, rough chopped
  • Big chunk fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes
  • ~ 1/3 box angel hair pasta 
Prep everything first, because it goes really fast!
Sweet jewels of grape tomatoes
Heat olive oil in nonstick pan over medium high heat until pretty hot.  Add chopped tomatoes, garlic, and jalapeno to hot oil. Should make a good sizzle.  Season with salt and pepper. Add spinach – will wilt down very quickly.  Start water to boil for pasta in covered pot (will boil faster).  After cooking tomatoes for a few minutes, turn down to medium-low depending on your stove and burner size.  Stir a handful of bacon into the tomatoes and just let it simmer on low. 
The Sauce
The Prep team
Add angel hair pasta to water and boil uncovered for 4 minutes. If you use different pasta (linguini, etc., the boiling time will need to be extended).  By the time the pasta is done, the tomatoes should have “popped” and will be ready. This sauce only takes 6 or 7 minutes.  If you desire a creamier sauce, just let it simmer longer.  The tomatoes will break down quickly.  Turn off sauce. Drain pasta.  Add chopped fresh basil ribbons and mozzarella to the sauce.  Add pasta to the sauce and toss while hot.  Serve immediately.
Fresh and delicious... Wednesday Pasta

Notes:
Some of my friends whose family members demand a substantial "meat" for dinner have added some sliced, grilled chickens breast to this dish... Hey, knock yourselves out!  Make it your own - by all means!  But it does have a serving of bacon and spinach in it... so it's not too unbalanced all by itself.

* Adjust the heat in this dish by seeding the peppers for a mild dish; leave seeds in for more heat.

* To save time, I use the precooked Hormel bacon that comes in the bag.

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