Monday, October 3, 2011

Bacon Ranch Pasta

This was another rollover recipe from last week, and I kind of hemmed and hawed whether it would work or not. We love big flavor, and I was worried this recipe would fall short. However, this blogger was raving how delicious it was (and I had seen it on other food blogs as well) so I decided to give it a shot. Darin helped me cook this in the kitchen, and he kept repeating- "I swear we've made this before and it just didn't turn out well". I had a sinking suspicion he was right but decided to go against my gut and give it a (second?) try.
Verdict: Um yes this was sooo delicious. We gobbled all of it down for dinner. The cream-based sauce was perfectly seasoned, the bacon was a nice addition, and we just loved it. One of the best dishes we've made in a long time. Next time, we both agreed that we would like some shredded chicken (or breaded chicken breast) to round out this dish so I'm including this in the list of ingredients below.

Update: I used frozen breaded chicken breasts- baked them, then diced them up and tossed them into the cream sauce. Worked great!

Ingredients:
  • 12-oz center cut bacon (we cooked our bacon in the oven)
  • 1# short cut pasta (we use 12-oz box of 100% whole wheat penne)
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 3/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 bag baby spinach (omitted)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with roasted garlic, undrained
  • 1/2# cooked chicken breasts, diced or shredded (Rotisserie Chicken would be an easy substitute, or even breaded chicken)
  • Grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese

Directions:
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. While the pasta is cooking, cook the bacon until crisp. Allow bacon to cook, then crumble.
  2. Combine parsley, pepper, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and thyme in a small bowl.
  3. Over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil in a saucepan or saute pan large enough to hold the pasta.Add garlic and saute for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the heavy cream and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, add the seasoning mixture (from Step #2), spinach, and tomatoes. Cook until the spinach wilts and the sauce thickens. (We simmered it for 15-20 minutes on medium-low.)
  5. Once the sauce has reduced and thickened, add the cooked pasta, crumbled bacon, cooked chicken, and toss to combine.
  6. Add grated cheese on top. Taste for seasoning.
Source: Originally on Taste of Home Cooking, As seen on Sweet Beginnings

3 comments:

Jessy said...

YUMMY! Looks great!

Nicole, RD said...

Wow! This looks sooo creamy and good! I hope it will turn out alright with some half and half instead of the cream...probably not, but I'll give it a go ;)

The Home Cook said...

I'm SO glad you liked it. :)