BLT Pasta

After this meal appeared on my menu plan, I had several requests to post it immediately. Although not all of the new recipes I try are successful (sadly, so sadly), this one was definitely a hit.

The concept is brilliant and the flavors, although simple, are perfect for a light pasta dish. The hints of meaty bacon, fresh spinach and bright tomatoes were a perfect compliment to the tender noodles and salty Parmesan cheese. Do you want to know my favorite part, though? Even more than the snitches of bacon? The croutons. Oh, the croutons. Homemade croutons. Heavenly in their buttery toasted state, I had trouble not snatching the croutons from atop my family’s plates. In a million years, I never would have thought to top a simple pasta dish with crunch croutons, but I have a feeling I’ll be making the adjustment to include these nuggets of love from now on.

P.S. This pasta doesn’t save all that well considering the spinach gets a bit wilty (perhaps you like that sort of thing?) and the bacon gets a bit rubbery…so my advice? Eat up while you can.

P.P.S. Did I mention this meal comes together in a snap? Less than 30 minutes. I promise.

BLT Pasta

What To ServeFruit Smoothie
Chips and an awesome dip like this Amazing Shrapnel Dip
Fresh veggies and/or fruit

BLT Pasta

Yield: Serves 4-6

BLT Pasta

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 slices hearty or artisan bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, about 4 cups total (I used a homemade ciabatta loaf)
  • 12 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pound radiatore pasta (or other small pasta shape)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 (6 ounce) bag baby spinach
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. While the water comes to a boil, melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the bread cubes and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and wipe out the skillet.
  2. Cook the chopped bacon in the empty skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and leave a small amount of the bacon fat in the skillet (about 2 teaspoons). Cook the onion in the bacon fat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. While the onion softens in the skillet, add 1 tablespoon salt to the boiling water then stir in the pasta. Cook until just tender (al dente). Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the pasta water by ladling it into a bowl before draining the pasta. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Stir in the tomatoes, spinach, Parmesan, bacon and onion mixture, and 1 cup reserved pasta water. Stir quickly and completely so the cheese doesn’t melt in large clumps. Add additional water as needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle pasta onto plates or bowls and top with croutons. Serve immediately.
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/blt-pasta/

Recipe Source: Adapted from Cook’s Country

25 Responses to BLT Pasta

  1. cakescraps says:

    I love, love, love a BLT…it’s my all-time favorite sandwich, so I’m definitely going to give this pasta a try! Thanks!

  2. Natalie says:

    Yay! Thanks for posting – I can’t wait to try it!!

  3. Aubri says:

    This looks yummy! Did I miss the recipe for the ciabatta loaf? Sounds so good! Thanks for the great recipes!

  4. Norah says:

    I’ve been eying this recipe in the magazine. Guess I need to get it made now.

  5. ARLENE says:

    Croutons with pasta! Who’d a thunk it? Bet it was delicious.

  6. Leisel says:

    Ah, I can’t wait to try this out. But it’s going to have to wait until I finish out my 2 week meal plan. Arg. Maybe I can do some rearranging. Nuggets of love! So Funny!

  7. Spryte says:

    I agree… homemade croutons are the best… this dish sounds delish!!!

  8. Krissa says:

    oh i so want to make this!!! THANKS!!!!

  9. grace says:

    wilted spinach and rubbery bacon? no thanks. fresh blt salad? brilliant idea and oh-so-enticing!

  10. Lisa says:

    Hi. I just love your recipes. I’d like to nominate you for a Beautiful Blogger Award!

    Lisa at joyincooking.blogspot.com

  11. Leslie says:

    Yeah I am pretty sure I wouldnt have to worry about left overs with this!! YUM

  12. Debbie says:

    What a wonderful dish and great idea! Looks fantastic!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Sounds Yummy! Thanks for posting this!

  14. Mini Baker says:

    Just found your blog and its amazing! SOOO many yummy things :)
    Can’t wait to browse around!
    -Mini Baker

  15. teresa says:

    i will definitely be making this salad and soon!

  16. Colleen says:

    This looks delicious – who doesn’t love a BLT?

  17. Mindy says:

    Yum! This looks fab! And what’s not to love about a dinner that comes together fast…

  18. theUngourmet says:

    Great salad! I completely agree with you about the croutons! Homemade is definitely the way to go!!

  19. Katy ~ says:

    Superb in its simplicity. Love the combination of ingredients, lots of eye appeal and flavor. Wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing this. It’s a keeper.

  20. Barbara says:

    BLT’s are a favorite around here! Love it in your pasta salad form. I’m making this for lunch tomorrow! I even have some sour dough bread to make croutons with.
    Hopefully, the spinach will make me feel healthy! Besides, there’s no mayo! ;)

  21. Livin Local says:

    What a yummy meal this is. I can’t agree more with your sentiments on home made croutons.

  22. Julie says:

    Very nice…bookmarking this one :)

  23. Jessica says:

    This was WONDERFUL!!! We loved this meal! thanks for sharing :)

  24. Melanie says:

    Hi Jessica – so glad you liked this recipe. Thanks for letting me know!

  25. Haley says:

    Made this tonight — it was SO good!! Perfect for a hot night — and my boyfriend and his roommate approved! They ate two bowls each (a huge compliment, coming from them)! Another great recipe — your blog is my absolute favorite! You’re an inspiration! xoxo

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