I am enjoying this summer so very much! The kids and I have been working our way through the summer list, but we are also leaving plenty of time for relaxing and enjoying some lazy summer days. Really, this summer is going along swimmingly and I hope it doesn’t end too soon.
There are a few things, however, that I am finding really difficult right now. Waking up before 9 AM. Wearing shoes. Doing anything but a top knot with my hair. Sitting down to the computer, a.k.a. blogging and editing pictures. And cooking – why turn on the oven when we could just eat watermelon and peaches all day long, right?
But, my kids’ enthusiasm for another watermelon meal is waning. So, over the weekend I made a BLT Pasta, no oven required, and it was, dare I say, a perfect summer meal!
This BLT Pasta with Garlic Toast Bread Crumbs is quick, easy, and incredibly tasty – the kind of dish that will impress both company and the kids! Carmelizing the tomatoes and then deglazing for the sauce creates a rich, deep flavor with a hint of spice and sweetness. Plus, there is bacon – need I say more? I’m really glad I dragged myself into the kitchen for this one!
BLT Pasta with Garlic Toast Bread Crumbs
5 strips bacon, diced
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup leeks, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine, or white grape juice
3/4 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
7 oz dry spaghetti noodles
2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
1/4 teasppon dry thyme
For Garlic Toast Bread Crumbs:
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
2 cups French bread, cubed
2 tablespoons olive oil
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
Whisk together minced garlic and olive oil. In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs, oil, and garlic. Stir, making sure bread is thoroughly coated with oil. Toast coated bread crumbs in a large skillet over medium heat until golden, stirring often. Season with salt and set aside.
Saute the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook until crisp, then set aside on paper towel. Reserve 2 tablespoons bacon drippings, and drain off remaining oil.
Caramelize the tomatoes and sugar in the bacon drippings in large skillet or sauce pan, over medium heat. Cook until tomatoes begin to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the leeks and cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, or until leeks soften.
Deglaze with wine and allow sauce to simmer until the wine is nearly evaporated and sauce is thick. Add the broth, vinegar, and pepper flakes. Simmer until reduced by 1/3, approximately 5 minutes.
Add the spinach, thyme, and bacon to the sauce, then add the cooked pasta. Toss lightly until pasta is well coated with sauce. Season with salt as needed. Top each serving with garlic toast bread crumbs.
Makes 4 servings. Recipe adapted from Cuisine at Home.
What do you cook when you really don’t want to cook?