Have I mentioned recently how much I love pasta? It's such a simple dish that can be turned into something special with just a few ingredients. If I could, I would probably eat pasta 2-3 days a week but I think my husband might protest. So often times when we have pasta more then once I week I look for a recipe that incorporates ingredients he enjoys. This Bacon and Shrimp Pasta Toss combines two of his favorites: bacon and shrimp.
Now I don't eat shrimp. I don't know what it is about them but I do not like them. Fortunately I don't mind if they are cooked in a dish and I can pick them out. I don't find that they leave a lot of flavor behind so this dish was fine with me. It's a very simple dish where the shrimp are actually sauteed in the bacon grease to give them extra flavor.
There isn't an actual sauce on the pasta either. It's a simple combination of olive oil, butter, garlic, and the flavors from the bacon and shrimp. I was a little worried that it would be boring but with a few drops of lemon juice it really tasted amazing. The shrimp and bacon are tossed in at the end along with the spinach to give the pasta added color and flavor. This is a great weeknight meal!
- 12 oz. penne
- 2 slices bacon
- 5 garlic cloves
- ¾ lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 T. olive oil
- 1 T. butter
- 4 c. fresh baby spinach leaves
- 1 t. lemon juice
- salt and pepper
- Parmesan cheese
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain, reserving ¾ cup of cooking liquid.
- Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cook until brown. Remove from the pan and place on a paper towel lined plate.
- Add the garlic to the bacon drippings and lower heat to medium. Saute for 30 seconds and then add the shrimp. Cook for 2 minutes per side. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Add the olive oil and butter to the skillet. Heat until butter has melted. Add in the reserved cooking liquid and bring to a boil. Add the penne to the pan and cook for 1 minute, tossing to combine. Stir in the spinach, shrimp, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Cook for 2 more minutes.
- Place pasta on a plate and top with crumbled bacon and Parmesan cheese.