I know what you’re thinking. Did Monica REALLY just type spinach, bacon and HEALTHY all in title?
Yeah, I totally did.
This recipe is hands down one of my favorite meals on earth now, which makes it all the more weird that when my pal Lindsey suggested it, I was like, “Hell to the no.”
I was wrong. My recipe is actually an adaptation/revision of Giada’s version because I didn’t want goat cheese, and I didn’t want that much garlic. The end result of this pasta is a healthy, creamy, tasty and filling pasta dish that is cheap and quick. I swear even those of you who hate green veggies will LOVE this pasta because of all the flavor. Just try it, would ya? Now, I did add bacon, because seriously, what doesn’t taste good with bacon? But, you can omit it and it’s still fab. And hey, without bacon, this pasta dish is perfect for meatless Mondays or vegetarians.
-1 box of pasta (16 oz.)
-1 bag of spinach (6 oz.)
-3 oz. of light cream cheese
-2 peeled garlic cloves
-3/4 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp black pepper
-Parmesan cheese (optional)
-8 slices of bacon (optional: try to pick bacon that’s 70 calories or so for 2 slices)
-Sun dried tomatoes (optional)
1.) If you’re going to make bacon, go ahead and cook that up however you’d like. I personally prefer the oven method (425 degrees, 10 minutes-ish). Once your bacon is cooked, pat excess grease with paper towels and crumble it up. Set aside.
2.) Boil your water, throw in pasta til cooked.
3.) Add your cream cheese, garlic, 1/2 of your spinach leaves, salt & pepper and pulverize! Put the other half of your spinach leaves in the bottom of a bowl where your pasta and such can fit, too.
This is what I use as my food processor/power whisk/milkshake maker/immersion blender. This one tool does SO many things for me that it kind of renders so many other of my small appliances useless. Money well spent, I love this thing. It has never failed me. I gush over this thing. GUSH. It is such a time saver and it’s under $35 for essentially 4 appliances. Cuisinart- I loves you!!
I toss my ingredients into the food processor attachment and it’s done it seconds. I will say I add a little bit of spinach at a time (about 3 batches) to ensure it all gets mixed well.
Here’s what it looks like once it’s done.
4.) Once your pasta is done, drain as usual, BUT reserve about 1/2 cup of starchy water in case you need to add it to make your sauce a little more “saucy”. I’ve never had to add more than a tiny splash of water, but ya never know.
Put the bacon crumbles over the spinach leaves in the bowl…
Pour the pasta over the bacon/spinach and add the sauce.
Mix, mix, mix!
Plate up and enjoy! Such a simple, healthy, quick, cheap meal for those weeknights where you just don’t have energy to do more than boil some water. We love to have some garlic bread on the side, and we grate up fresh parmesan cheese and put some sun dried tomatoes on top. Gourmet taste for so little money. Yum. Yum. Yum.
And seriously, aren’t the colors beautiful? That’s my fave thing about cooking with fresh foods- such beautiful colors on the plate.
The calorie counts are pretty low for the amount of food you get. I divided the recipe into 4, and the portions are HUGE!
Just add the bacon, people!
Well, I hope you enjoy this recipe and you’ll add it to your repertoire. I’m sure glad I did, thanks Lindsey!
Be back tomorrow with a quick review on Diets To Go and an update about my weight loss progress. Squee!!