Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Cindy Barr 
Hands-on Time:
55 Mins
Total Time:
55 Mins
Serves 4 (serving size: 1 cup)

Here's a saucy, creamy pasta dish without a lick of cream or milk and only a wee bit of cheese. The trick is to cook the pasta like risotto, which releases starch into the liquid that becomes the sauce. The toasting step adds nutty, rich character and is a step we don't advise skipping.

How to Make It

Step 1

Bring stock to a simmer in a saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.

Step 2

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add pasta; cook 5 minutes or until toasted, stirring frequently. Remove pasta from pan.

Step 3

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, shallots, garlic, and bacon to pan; cook 4 minutes or until browned. Remove bacon mixture from pan. Reduce heat to medium-low. Return pasta to pan. Add stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of stock is nearly absorbed before adding the next (about 35 minutes total), stirring frequently. Stir in bacon mixture, juice, rind, spinach, salt, and cheese. Garnish with oregano, if desired.

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