We love the look of mezze penne, a smaller version of regular penne, but you can use any short pasta you like. The "lettuce" in this BLT is actually tender baby spinach. You could also substitute peppery arugula or even baby kale.
8 ounces uncooked mezze penne pasta
6 center-cut bacon slices
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 (6-ounce) package baby spinach
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ounce fresh Romano cheese, finely grated (about 1/4 cup)
How to Make It
Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon; cook 6 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; crumble. Add tomatoes and salt to drippings in pan; cook 3 minutes or until tomatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. Add spinach and pasta to pan; cook 1 minute or just until spinach begins to wilt, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle pasta with bacon, pepper, and cheese.
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Outstanding and very quick to make. I made only a couple of very minor changes. I subbed GF pasta and since we don't really care for cooked spinach, I tossed the uncooked spinach in at the end with the warm, drained pasta and tomatoes. I also drained all but about a tablespoon of the fat from the bacon before adding the tomatoes because I didn't use center-cut bacon. I cut the bacon by a 1/3, and increased the serving size by half. I'm keeping this recipe handy because it takes 20 minutes to make, it's delicious and satisfying and under 500 calories even with the increased serving size. A little fresh basil or tarragon would have been great, too, think.