Spinach, Bacon & Tomato Pasta Sauce

Spinach, Bacon & Tomato Pasta Sauce 007aThis is my take on a fairly classic Italian tomato-based pasta sauce – in Italy pancetta would probably be used rather than bacon and
Parmesan rather than the vintage cheddar, but as we you know I like to use local products where I can and both Holly bacon and Hohepa cheese give this a real Hawke’s Bay flavour.

Spinach, Bacon & Tomato Pasta Sauce

The sauce can be made in advance and reheated in the microwave or over a gentle heat.

Serves 4-6

500g fresh linguine or other flat pasta
½ cup freshly grated Hohepa Vintage Cheddar or Parmesan cheese –
1 tbsp olive oil
2 rashers Holly bacon, rind removed, finely chopped
1 medium leek, sliced
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 stick celery, finely chopped
pinch dried chilli flakes, or taste
1 bunch spinach, well washed and roughly chopped
440g can chopped tomatoes
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1              To make the sauce, place oil, bacon, leek, carrot, celery and chilli flakes in a large saucepan over a medium heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes or until vegetables are soft.

2              Increase heat, add spinach, stirring, handfuls at time –
allowing each lot of spinach to wilt before adding the next. Once all the spinach is added, continue to cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes longer to evaporate any water which has been released.

3              Stir in tomatoes, bring to simmering and simmer, stirring
occasionally, for 10-15 minutes or until sauce reduces and thickens. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

4              Meanwhile bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add pasta and cook according to following packet directions. Drain pasta and place in a large serving bowl. Pour over sauce, toss to
combine and scatter with grated cheese. Serve immediately.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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