This is my favorite go-to quick and delicious pasta dinner. I almost always have all the ingredients on hand which makes this last minute meal perfect for those busy weeknights. It is so good, though, that you could make it for any special occasion.
Note: the spinach here is optional if perhaps you have picky eaters at home. However, the smaller you slice the spinach, the more it just looks like herbs/seasoning so you could always try that as well. I love the way it gives such beautiful color to the dish.
1 lb thin spaghetti
7-8 pieces bacon (about 7-8 oz)
1 T minced shallot
1 handful spinach, thinly sliced
8 oz tomato sauce
1/3-1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp kosher salt or more to taste
lots of freshly cracked pepper
Bring well salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook 1 min less than the stated time on the package.
While pasta is boiling, cook bacon until crisp in a sauté pan large enough to fit the pasta later. Turn heat off. Remove bacon, allow to cool slightly and chop into small pieces. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of bacon grease from the pan, leaving any little bacon bits or residue that remains (unless those bits are burned. If burned, reserve 1 T of grease, wipe pan clean and then add bacon grease back to the pan).
Turn heat on low, add the minced shallots to the warm bacon drippings and sauté 30-60 seconds until fragrant. Making sure the heat is on the lowest setting, immediately add the drained pasta and use tongs or a spatula to help coat all the pasta strands with the shallot and drippings. Once well coated, add the tomato sauce and again make sure to toss each strand in the sauce. Next, add the cream and repeat coating all the spaghetti. You want each strand to be covered in goodness! There's really no exra sauce here. It all clings to the pasta.
Sprinkle 1/2 tsp of salt and grind copious amounts of fresh pepper (as much as your family likes) over the pasta. Incorporate well before adding the spinach and bacon and tossing again. Top with freshly grated Parmesan, taste and add more salt or pepper if needed. Serve immediately. Bon appetit!