Sunday, September 26, 2010

Penne with Mushrooms, Spinach, Tomatoes, and Mascarpone

This is one of my favorite quick meals and comfort foods.  I don't have a picture of this one because it's an older recipe, but I'm sure I'll make it again soon.

Serves 4

Total Time: less than 30 minutes

8 oz penne (or rotini, or your favorite small noodle that catches some sauce)
4 slices bacon, chopped into small pieces
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 oz mushrooms, chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes (or Campari tomatoes if you'd like something sweeter), quartered.
8 oz baby spinach
1-2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press
8 oz mascarpone
black pepper

Boil water, add pasta and cook until just before al dente; drain, and set aside. If you like your sauce to be somewhat thin, reserve a tablespoon or two of cooking water.

Meanwhile, cook bacon over moderate heat in a 12-inch skillet until it's as crispy as you like (it will soften slightly when soaked in sauce). While the bacon is cooking I like to add some freshly ground pepper. I usually season each ingredient I add to the pan separately so that everything is well-seasoned and flavorful.  Add onions and cook until softened. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. You shouldn't have to put any extra fat in the pan since you will have all that great bacon fat.

Add spinach and cook until slightly wilted. Now add the tomatoes, scraping off all the crusty bits from the bacon. Cook until the some of the tomato skins start to fall off.  Take off the heat, add the mascarpone, and stir until melted. Stir in the pasta until the well-incorporated.

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