Out of every pasta dish I have ever made, this is by far my favorite. I think it’s because of the sundried tomatoes to be honest – I just love their flavor and texture. Either way, this dish is always a hit. You can easily add to it to make it your own. It’s fairly simple; the hardest part is chopping up the ingredients. This delicious dish is something I’d recommend to almost anyone!
- ¼ lb pancetta, chopped
- Olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup drained oil packed sundried tomatoes, finely chopped
- 5 ounces spinach, coarsely chopped
- 1 lb pasta, cooked
- ½ cup parmesan
- ¼ cup fresh basil
If you have never used pancetta, I really hope you give it a try in this dish. You could substitute bacon, but pancetta has a bit of a different flavor and really makes this dish what it is. Feel free to use whatever type of pasta you want to go with this – I just used some rotini I had in my cabinet. I do suggest using fresh basil for this dish, as opposed to the dried variety, but if you don’t have any on hand, substitute a tablespoon or so of dried herbs. And remember, if you ever run into an ingredient you don’t have on hand, you can check out this post I made about Ingredient Substitutes.
I cooked my pasta while I was preparing everything else. It wasn’t very hard to do, as most of the time this dish requires letting things sit and simmer. If you want to, you could prepare the pasta before you get into the other ingredients. In a skillet over medium heat, add about a tablespoon of olive oil. Let it heat up for a few and then add your pancetta. You want it to get brown and a little crisp. This took me about 8 to 10 minutes. Once it is browned nicely, place the pancetta on a paper towel to drain.
You want to remove most of the oil left in the skillet, just leave about 2 tablespoons. Using this leftover oil to cook other ingredients will add some great flavor to them. With the same skillet still over medium heat, add your onion, garlic and pepper. I would suggest not adding salt as the pancetta is very salty itself. If you feel the dish does need salt, you can always add it at the end.
Cook these for about 8 minutes and then stir in your cream, tomatoes and pancetta.
Simmer this mixture, letting it thicken. This should only take about 3 minutes. Remove your skillet from the heat and add in your spinach. Mix it in well. Let it sit for about a minute and then add in the pasta and cheese. Mix it all up and top with the fresh basil. You can also top it with some more parmesan once you have made the servings.
I absolutely love the sundried tomato in this pasta dish. It has such great flavor! I am a huge spinach fan as well, so you can see why I favor this dish. Pancetta is something I don’t use often, but I am always happy when I do. It’s really delicious. This is pretty much the perfect pasta dish for me! I hope you like it as well : )
Have you ever used pancetta in a dish or had it out? There isn’t a store that I know of locally that sells fresh Italian meats like pancetta, but I’d love to live near one! I have to buy them prepackaged, which isn’t nearly as good as from a fresh Italian deli.