I really don’t like summer, one reason being that I love to cook, and the kitchen can become unbearable on hot days. Sometimes I just need something that I can make without much effort and that doesn’t require the oven. Simple pasta dishes work really well. This linguine with bacon, tomato, and spinach is a quick and easy summery dish for when you want to cook dinner but don’t want to spend a lot of time or sweat (gross but accurate).
Additions and Substitutions
You can use any long pasta instead of linguine if you prefer, such as spaghetti or fettuccine. Keep in mind that different kinds of pasta may have different cooking times.
I know shallots can be expensive in some places, so feel free to use regular onion instead. You’ll need around half a cup of finely diced onion.
Feel free to add in your favorite summer vegetables! Just ensure you add them early enough to cook through, if required. You could also add more protein, such as cooked chicken breast or shrimp. I encourage you to make this your own!
If you want to make this vegetarian, you can omit the bacon. You don’t have to replace it with anything, but mushrooms would probably work well. You’ll also have to leave out the parmesan; you could try a vegetarian ‘parmesan’ or nutritional yeast.
How to Serve Linguine with Bacon, Tomato, and Spinach
This is a complete meal on its own, and you’ll get four generous servings (probably a few more if you’re serving children or someone with a small appetite).
However, this could easily feed six if you add a simple salad or garlic bread. You could also serve this linguine as a side dish to accompany grilled pork or chicken.
How to Make Linguine with Bacon, Tomato, and Spinach
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Salt generously and add linguine. Cook until done to your liking, about 9-11 minutes. Take out about half a cup of the pasta water and set aside; you may need it later. Drain the pasta well.
If you are super efficient, you’ll be able to get the rest of the meal done while your pasta cooks.
In a large skillet over medium-low heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the bacon. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the bacon starts to get crispy.
You can turn up the heat a little if you think it’s necessary, I prefer to cook this at a lower temperature because the bacon fat tends to render better that way. Also, you’re less likely to cook all the flavor out of your garlic later.
Add Shallots and Garlic
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then add the shallots and cook until just beginning to turn translucent, about 2 minutes more. Add garlic and cook for another minute.
Add Tomato and Spinach
Add the cherry tomatoes and spinach. Don’t worry about being too exact with the measurements here; they are intended to be a guide. You can’t go wrong with a little more or less.
Sprinkle with a generous dash of salt and ground black pepper. Cook, stirring, until the spinach begins to wilt, about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat.
Combine with Pasta
Add the drained pasta and toss to combine. If the pasta seems a little dry, stir in some of the pasta water. You may not use it all, or any; it’s entirely up to you and your preferences. I usually end up adding a splash.
Season and Serve
Season the pasta to taste with more salt and pepper, if needed. Serve immediately, topped with freshly grated parmesan if desired (I highly recommend this).
Linguine with Bacon, Tomato, and Spinach
- 12 oz linguine
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
- 6 strips bacon diced
- 1 large shallot finely diced
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 8 oz cherry tomatoes halved
- 3 oz baby spinach
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Parmesan optional, to taste
- Boil the linguine in salted water until done to your liking, 9-11 minutes. Drain well, preserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
- In a large skillet over medium-low heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil and the bacon. Cook for about 5 minutes, until just starting to crisp
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then add the shallots and cook until beginning to turn translucent, about 2 minutes more. Add garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add tomato and spinach and a generous dash of salt and ground black pepper. Cook, stirring, until spinach begins to wilt, about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat.
- Add cooked and drained pasta and toss to combine. If the pasta seems a little dry, add some of the reserved pasta water. Season to taste with more salt and pepper, if needed.
- Serve immediately, topped with grated parmesan if desired.
Did you make this recipe? If so, follow @theflavorvortex on Instagram and post a picture using #theflavorvortex as I would love to see it!