Pasta With Bacon, Asparagus & Spinach: Quick Family Meal

Julie Ryan Evans
Food & Party

PenneThis is the time of year when sugar levels are upped and vegetables may be scarce on the party circuit.

So when you do have time for a family meal at home amidst all the shopping and festivities, it's good to load up on some healthy, vegetable-heavy fare.

This quick-fix pasta dish is hearty, yet even with the bacon, it's pretty light (I originally found it in Cooking Light). And with both spinach and asparagus in the mix, it packs a double vegetable punch.

Penne With Spinach, Asparagus, and Bacon

  • 8 ounces uncooked penne pasta (I use whole wheat or Barilla Plus for extra protein)
  • 2 bacon slices (if you like more bacon flavor, substitute turkey bacon and add a few more slices)
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 2 1/2 cups (1-inch) slices asparagus (about 1 pound)
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 cups bagged baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded and divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cook pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain; keep warm.

Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; crumble. Add onion to drippings in pan; sauté 1 minute. Add asparagus and broth to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender. Add pasta, spinach, 1/4 cup cheese, and pepper to pan; toss well. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and bacon.

Image via Christian Cable/Flickr

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