Photo: Lee Harrelson; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross
4 servings (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups pasta mixture and 1 tablespoon cheese)

This penne pasta toss, featuring asparagus, spinach, and bacon, comes together in a snap on busy weeknights. Complement it with a glass of white wine, such as sauvignon blanc, and garlic-Parmesan breadsticks.

How to Make It

Step 1

Cook pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain; keep warm.

Step 2

Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; crumble. Add onion to drippings in pan; sauté 1 minute. Add asparagus and broth to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender. Add pasta, spinach, 1/4 cup cheese, and pepper to pan; toss well. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and bacon.

Ratings & Reviews

Kate's Review

Suzy Bruce
October 13, 2016
I used this recipe as a base making a few changes.  (I cut the recipe in half for 2 of us).  First, I grilled the asparagus and 1 chicken breast.  I sauteed the onion with red pepper flakes and minced garlic as we like a kick to our pasta!  I followed the rest of the recipe adding 1 tbsp of cornstarch to 1/4 cup broth stirring that in after the rest of the broth had simmered for 5 minutes. Then I simmered this mixture for a few minutes more.  I added the pasta, grilled asparagus, diced chicken, spinach, and cheese tossing well.  I only gave the recipe 3 stars as I made these changes.  The leftovers were great for lunch the next day!

NatalieNG's Review

September 06, 2013
It's a good, solid pasta recipe if you're looking for something sans the usual tomato or alfredo sauce. The leftovers aren't fantastic, and I also think you could cut back on the chicken stock without the recipe suffering. May add some garlic and olive oil next time.

kristen12345's Review

March 24, 2013

JJBBNN's Review

October 10, 2012

veryslowcook's Review

March 05, 2012
I really liked this dish but for some reason the leftovers were disappointing. I cut the broth to 1 cup and kicked up the flavor with garlic and a little crushed red pepper.

mommymea's Review

April 22, 2011
I thought it was a bit bland, I would probably add garlic next time, maybe some toasted pine nuts. I only used 1 cup of chicken broth as well, and used regular, as that is what I had on hand.

jill0609's Review

April 14, 2011
It was delicious, but definitely doesnt need that much chicken stock. Other than that, really enjoyed it!

Holley's Review

March 21, 2011
LOVE this recipe. So simple and quick. Perfect for the spring!

amperez81's Review

December 14, 2010
Pasta could use a little olive oil, salt. Otherwise, great combo of flavors. Added minced garlic after the onion - was very nice.

flowerpot916's Review

October 24, 2010
I thought this was really good! I did, however, make some changes. I increased the bacon to 8 slices and added garlic and pepperflakes; used just a splash of chicken broth - no need for more; and added more spinach, but instead of adding it to the saucepan (because it would overflow), I put it in my colander and poured the pot of hot penne pasta over it for an instant steam. I then added the spinach and pasta to the saucepan, and added sliced grilled chicken breasts. Very tasty! Would also be great without the meat.