Bacon and Shrimp Pasta Toss

Cooking for One or Two, Recipes, Worknight Dinners
pasta with bacon shrimp and spinach
pasta with bacon shrimp and spinach

Photo: Leigh Loftus

No matter where you are in life, it’s normal to have mixed feelings once September rolls around. If you’re in college, you’re heading back to the grind. If you have kids at home who are heading to elementary school, then it’s back to busy mornings and daily routines. If you’re a young professional, single or attached, who spends summer weekends by the beach, on a boat or at your favorite rooftop bar drinking refreshing summer cocktails, there is still a harsh return to reality to face in the wake of September.

Whether the conclusion of Labor Day means you’re back to busy school nights or back to using Sunday as your one day to prep lunches and dinners for the week, it’s a change of pace. A chill in the air replaces summer evenings around the grill and it’s suddenly not such a tragedy to turn on your stove or oven.

I admit, I kind of like it. Actually, I really like it.

If you want to embrace sweater season earlier than is truly necessary, start by bridging the gap between fall and summer with your dinner. In this simple pasta dish, the smoky flavors of bacon that can warm you in the cold meld together with summer-reminiscent seafood. Throw in a few handfuls of spinach for guilt appeasement (we all indulged in those refreshing summer cocktails, after all) and get ready to get your autumn on.

pasta with bacon shrimp and spinach

Photo: Leigh Loftus

Gemelli with Bacon Shrimp and Spinach
Recipe type: Worknight Dinners, Cooking for One or Two
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
  • 4 ounces uncooked penne (about one cup dry)
  • 2 slices applewood-smoked bacon
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2½ cups baby spinach leaves
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions until almost al dente, omitting salt and fat; drain, reserving ¾ cup cooking liquid.
  2. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat 10 minutes or until crisp, turning once. Remove from pan; reserve drippings. Crumble bacon. Add garlic to drippings in pan; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add shrimp; cook 1½ minutes on each side or until done. Remove shrimp from pan; set aside.
  3. Add reserved ¾ cup cooking liquid and oil to pan; bring to a boil. Boil 30 seconds, stirring with a whisk. Add pasta to pan; cook 1 minute, tossing to combine. Stir in spinach, shrimp, and salt. Top with bacon. Serve immediately.
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1 Comment

  • Reply
    September 3, 2014 at 2:35 am

    Oh, this sounds and looks delicious 🙂

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