Bacon Ranch Pasta with Spinach and Tomatoes

Bacon Ranch Pasta w Spinach and Tomatoes | windykitchen

Any good summer plans this weekend? We’ve actually got two separate work parties to go to (one for my company, one for my husband’s), and they’re both out in the suburbs, so we’re going to rent a car and spend some quality highway drive time.

I actually love shortish road trips (anything under 2 hours, at least), because they give us a chance to play my favorite car game, Celebrity 20 Questions. Man, we have had some epic fights over Celebrity 20 Questions. There was the Billy Crystal incident, when my husband managed to ask, “Has this person ever hosted the Oscars?” and then still couldn’t come up with Billy Crystal. [My response was less than kind] Then there was the David Lat incident, where we hotly disputed the boundary separating “celebrity” from “non-celebrity.” There have also been lots of little fights, usually when I picked someone obscure in an attempt to be tricky but ended up being unable to answer any questions about them (how should I know whether Garrison Keillor is married!?).

Our biggest fight of all? Don King. Seriously, the next time you play 20 Questions with someone (assuming you do that), go with Don King. I couldn’t get him in forty questions. Also, I’m still not totally sure who that guy is.

Bacon Ranch Pasta w Spinach and Tomatoes | windykitchen


1 lb dry whole wheat penne pasta
6 strips bacon, cooked until crispy and crumbled
1 tsp dried parsley
3/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 onion, diced
2 cups half and half (I did 1 cup half-and-half, one cup skim milk)
6 oz baby spinach
1 (14.5-oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated

1. Cook pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
2. In small bowl, combine parsley, pepper, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and thyme.
3. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute 3-4 minutes, until softened and translucent. Add garlic and saute 1 minute more. Add tomatoes; saute 1 minute. Add half and half (or half-and-half and milk) and bring to boiling. Lower heat to a simmer and add seasoning mixture; stir. Simmer 5-10 minutes or until slightly thickened and reduced.
4. Add spinach and parmesan cheese to skillet and stir, allowing spinach to wilt. Once wilted, add pasta and bacon; toss to combine. Serve hot, adjusting seasoning as necessary (mine needed a tad more salt).

Yum! This turned out more decadent than I expected from the ingredient list. I love how it contains very little meat but still gets a ton of flavor from the small amount in there.

Bacon Ranch Pasta w Spinach and Tomatoes | windykitchen


2 thoughts on “Bacon Ranch Pasta with Spinach and Tomatoes

  1. Pingback: Ranch Pasta with Bacon, Spinach and Tomatoes | windykitchen

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