Pantry staples quick pasta dish

Happy New Year!!! I have a very good feeling about 2012. It’s going to be a great one. For all of us. Open-mouthed smile

I know that January is a month of healthier resolutions. We’ve all used the excuse of the holidays to indulge in too many desserts, cheese and wine (You did, right? Don’t leave me here confessing to sins all on my own). The beginning of a new year is a good time to reassess what worked and didn’t the year before, to get a bit of a kick to recommit to old goals or start fresh with a “clean slate.” It’s like the ultimate “Monday.” I dig it.

And while I’m not really into New Year’s resolutions (at least not this year) in recent weeks my fire for healthy cooking and exercise has been reignited. And I’m hoping the newness of the year will keep it up. Even on days when “there is nothing in the fridge,” I keep at it. Last night the digging turned up a crazy delicious pasta dish, created from pantry staples and a few random bits in the fridge. I have an archive of recipes to share with you, but this one wins today. 


Pantry staples (and a few random bits) pasta

Adopted from the Eating Well cookbook, serves 4


  • 8oz dry whole wheat pasta
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 15-oz can of diced tomatoes with chiles
  • Two 15-oz cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed.
  • 1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • 2T finely shredded pecorino cheese


  • Boil pasta according to instructions on package
  • Fry bacon and blot on paper towels (reserve bacon grease).
  • Heat 1T of reserved bacon grease on medium heat, add garlic.
  • When garlic is golden brown, add cannellini beans, basil, spinach, diced tomatoes, olives and grape tomatoes and stir.
  • When the spinach has wilted, add cooked pasta, crumbled bacon and pecorino cheese.
  • Taste for seasonings (a little more salt or pepper may be needed) and enjoy.

This was so quick and easy and the flavor blew us away. I love the smokiness of the bacon, the saltiness of the olives and the slight heat from the chiles in the tomatoes (if you just have diced tomatoes and want a bit of heat, add a sprinkle of hot pepper flakes). I’m adding the recipe to my favorites list!

Here is to keeping at it. Always. And eating delicious and healthy meals! Open-mouthed smile

What do you make on nearly bare-fridge days? You can say make a phone call for delivery Winking smile

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