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I love making premium restaurant-style meals at home and I’ve nailed it once again with this Cheese and Spinach Bucatini with Bacon and Garlic Cream Sauce.
I can hardly believe my husband and I are celebrating our 17th anniversary this month. We dated for two years before getting married and I still get excited about waking up beside him everyday. Part of what has built a strong foundation for our marriage are out traditions. Early on we started celebrating our anniversary by cooking dinner together and going to the movies afterward.
The tradition started out of a need to be frugal. We were a young family, with one income and wanted a restaurant style dinner on a budget. That decision turned into something we now look forward to year after year.For anniversary dinners we use traditional, budget friendly ingredients we were raised on and transform them into restaurant style meals made with love. This year I’m craving pasta but want something familiar yet gourmet. When I saw Barilla®’s Collezione premium pastas at Publix, I immediately knew what I wanted to make and that it would be next level delicious.
Barilla® Collezione comes in six artisanal pasta shapes and even a signature Tortellini that can be used for this recipe.
Each pasta is artisinally crafted using traditional Italian bronze plates for a homemade “al dente” texture that perfectly holds sauces every time. I plan to use all the new Barilla® Collezione products in a recipe, but for today I’m using Barilla®’s Collezione Bucatini made with non-GMO ingredients..
The Bucatini is traditional spaghetti but better. Bucatini resembles thick spaghetti but with a hollow straw-like center. This is where the name “buco” come from which means “hole” in Italian. The hole in the center of each pasta works to capture sauce and ensures we taste Bacon and Garlic Cream Sauce in every bite.Barilla® Collezione pasta makes it easy to “elevate your everyday meals“. The unbeatable price at Publix makes this gourmet pasta a budget friendly ingredient.
I dare you to try this recipe using one of the Barilla® Collezione pastas and I’ll wait for you to thank me later.
- 12 oz. Barilla® Collezione Bucatini
- 2 tbsps. of Barilla® Traditional Basil Pesto
- 8 oz. grape tomatoes (halved)
- 8 oz. heavy whipping cream
- 2 tbs. of finely shredded Italian cheese (mozzarella, provolone, romano, asiago and parmesan)
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 cup of spinach leaves
- 6 slices of Applewood smoked bacon
- Fresh basil leaves
- 1 tsp. of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Bring 4-6 quarts of water to a boil. Add salt to taste. Add pasta to boiling water.
- For authentic "al dente" pasta, boil for 7 minutes , stirring occasionally. For more tender pasta, boil an additional minute.
- While the pasta boils, mince the garlic and warm the oil in a large pan. Sauté the garlic until it's translucent.
- Chop the bacon slices into thirds and brown them in the pan with the garlic. Continue flipping the bacon until both sides are brown and crisp. Remove the garlic and bacon from the pan and allow it to cool. Set aside 2 teaspoons of the bacon grease and discard the rest.
- Chop the bacon into smaller pieces and set aside half. Return the other half and the garlic to the pan. Add in the heavy whipping cream, bacon grease, Barilla® Traditional Basil Pesto, Italian cheese and bring to a low simmer.
- Drain the pasta and add it into the bacon, garlic and cream. Add in the spinach and halved tomatoes.
- Allow everything to simmer for 1 to 3 minutes and remove from the heat. Garnish with remaining chopped bacon and fresh basil leaves.
- To ensure this recipe has the right texture make sure you don’t overcook the pasta.
- Also, make sure to cook the bacon through until it’s evenly crisp, but not burnt.
- I used a small amount of the bacon grease in my cream sauce, but you could omit that and the dish will still taste amazing.
You can serve this as the main dish and feed up to 6 people or as a side dish paired with veal or chicken Parmesan. I paired ours with chicken browned on each side in a little bit of extra virgin olive oil.
I love how the recipe turned out. I was a little nervous trying something new this year, but after taking the first bite, I knew I’d made the right choice. I know you’ll feel the same!