Wednesday, December 19, 2012

BLT pasta

MEEEEEEEEEEP!!! MEEEEEEEEEEP!!! Blizzard warning in your county!! MEEEEEEEP!!! MEEEEEEEEEP!!!
That's what I woke up to at 4 am this morning blaring from my phone while it vibrated so hard it almost bounced off the nightstand. Main Man's phone didn't have sound but it was jumping around vibrating as well. Jeez Louise, Verizon...I could see if it's a tornado coming our way where we need to take action immediately, but what exactly is the advice for a blizzard? Stay inside? Got that covered at 4 am...thanks. Besides the fact that this warning was a good 12 hours before the snow was even supposed to think about starting to fall on us. Better to be safe than sorry, I suppose. I am, by nature, bad at waking up anyway. I have a very serene, gradual volume increasing, spa-like alarm for my normal wake ups, so when this thing hit, I thought the Mayans were right about the end of the world (give or take a couple days in calculations). I've never sat up so fast...
Now that my heart is beating at its normal pace again (it took a while to revert back to normal palpitations), I am eagerly awaiting this blizzard because it means we get a white Christmas! Yes, I'm one of those annoying people wishing for snow. Don't worry, I only wish for it the first snow of the year and then it loses it's luster when it gets all dirty and ugly and you actually have to drive in it and continue on with life. But the first snow is always magical, and it just makes it feel more Christmas-y to have a white backdrop when peering out the windows.
Anyway, I'm being warned by Main Man that I may not be able to get out of the house tomorrow since our county road drifts so badly and the winds are expected to be very high tonight after the snow piles on us. This meal was a throw-together with ingredients I had laying around one night that I didn't feel like going to the store. Instead of heading to the store to stock up on food for the impending storm, I plan on making this pasta again with the staples I keep in the house. I always have these ingredients in my fridge, they're my favorites because you can throw them into so many different things. This time they turned into a pasta but they could've been a beefed up fresh spinach salad by subtracting the pasta, a quinoa casserole by subbing quinoa for pasta, a breakfast burrito filling or just an omelet by adding eggs, the list goes on and on...
Here's what you need:
1 box short pasta (I used these mini shells that are just adorbs, don't barf on me for saying adorbs please)
1 container cherubs or cherry tomatoes
1 bag fresh spinach
6 slices bacon, cooked and cut into bite sized pieces (you probably don't need that much but I have a bacon thief around the house so I always cook an extra slice or two to avoid being short on my recipe)
8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, grated
2 T olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced (you can do less, but I love me some garlic, I never have to worry about vamps)
cracked pepper to taste
crushed red pepper to taste (I like to taste a lot)
Boil the noodles as you normally would, drain and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat, and add your minced garlic to it, stirring continuously for 1-2 minutes until aromatic. Add your tomatoes or cherubs and spinach, saute until wilted. Add noodles, bacon, and pasta and stir to combine. Add the mozzarella cheese and mix while melting. Add cracked pepper and red pepper to taste, and serve that stuff up with some garlic bread to your snowed in peeps....that's it!
I plan to add a cup of greek yogurt mixed in with the shredded mozzarella, just to give it a little more creaminess, but other than that, this meal was a score for just being made with ingredients I have on hand at all times. Can't beat that with a stick. Or a blizzard. Happy snowstorm, Iowans!

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