This is an easy one. One pot, roughly 5 ingredients (plus optional extras if you wish) and ready in about 30 minutes to feed 4 hungry people. It’s packed full of spinach, which is why it turns quite green, it’s flavoured with Pancetta and cooked in milk to become extra creamy. It’s a great base to throw in extra ingredients like leftover roast chicken, prawns, salmon or anything lying around that needs using up – we can’t resist a bit of nutmeg and parmesan added to this. Super versatile and equally as delicious, you HAVE to get on this.
The Video Tutorial
One Pot Green Bacon Pasta
- Large Sauce Pan
- Wooden Spoon
- 500 g Penne Pasta
- 1.2 Ltr Whole Milk (Full Fat)
- 120 g Spinach (just use a full bag)
- 120 g Pancetta, cubed
- 2 Cloves Garlic, peeled and grated.
- 1/4 tsp Nutmeg (optional)
- 1 Handful Grated Parmsean (Optional)
Stage 1 - Pancetta / Garlic
- On a medium heat, cook the pancetta (in a little oil to prevent sticking). Cook until the fat is extracted and the pancetta pieces are browned and slightly crisp.
- Turn down the heat to low and take the pan off the heat for about 20 seconds. Now add the garlic and stir well, try not to let it brown or esle it will turn slightly bitter. Cook the garlic for 1 minute.
Stage 2 - Milk and Spinach
- Add the spinach to the garlic and bacon and mix well. Cook on low until it softens and reduces in size slightly.
- Add the milk to the pan and bring to a simmer stirring occassionally. Scrape any brown bits off the bottom of the pan whilst the milk is coming up to temp. Allow the milk to simmer for a minute or so. Top Tip - Sitr regularly to prevent the milk catching on the bottom of the pan.
Stage 3 - The Pasta
- Add the Pasta to the simmering Milk and stir well to incorporate. Keep stirring through the cooking process otherwise it will catch on the bottom of the pan.
- Let the pasta cook until it becomes soft and al dente, with a thickened, green-ish creamy sauce.
Stage 4 - Optional Additions
- Add the nutmeg and the cheese and stor well to incorporate.
- Loosen with a touch more milk is deemed necessary - 1 tbsp at a time.
Stage 5 - Season and Serve
- Taste. Add salt to bring out the flavours if needed. There is a lot of pasta, so a big pinch might be needed. Stir and taste again. Repeat until the flavour is there but it's not "salty".
- Serve in deep dished bowls.
- Use a lower heat when cooking the garlic. Take the pan off the heat after cooking the pancetta to allow it to cool slightly - this will help.
- Scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pan when adding the milk. This is flavour, and we don't want to waste it.
- Allow the milk to simmer with the spinach before adding the pasta - this will give the pasta a running start.
- The pasta takes time, a lot longer than conventional cooking. Be patient and stir often, it will soon come together as soon as the spinach starts releasing its green colour.
- The parmesan and nutmeg are optional, and you can either keep it a 5 ingredient pasta dish or enhance the flavour somewhat. Although we can argue it doesn't necessarily need it given the spinach and bacon add lots of delicious flavour. But who can resist more parmesan?!