At the moment I am so in to one pot meals especially during the week. Because of other stuff happening in life, I have less time to cook. But I still like a delicious family meal at the end of the day. So one pot meals are the answer for me. Pasta is one the best one pot meals because it lends itself to so many flavours and ingredients. This is one of my favourite easy, quick and yummy mid-week pasta dishes that my entire family enjoys (fussy kid included) and I don’t spend hours slaving or prepping over.
EASY PASTA WITH PESTO SPINACH & PANCETTA
320 gms Farfalle pasta
180 gms green pesto (shop bought but the fresh version)
150 gms diced pancetta (leave out if you’re vegetarian)
1 tsp olive oil
2-3 large handfuls spinach
50 gms grated parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste
Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet. While its cooking, wash and roughly chop up the spinach. You can use the spinach without chopping but I’ve found that kids are less likely to pick it out if it’s in smaller pieces. Fry the pancetta cubes (if using) in a teaspoon of olive oil until golden and crispy and drain on kitchen towel.
Once the pasta is cooked, keep aside a couple of tablespoons of the cooking liquid. Take the pasta off the heat and throw in the spinach before draining the pasta. Give it all a quick stir and then drain the pasta and spinach – the spinach cooks from the heat of the pasta especially if its chopped. Add the cooking liquid and all the pesto to the pasta and spinach. Give it a really good mix and then add the parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste and mix again. Finally sprinkle over the crispy pancetta cubes. And that’s it!
This easy pasta with pesto spinach and pancetta dish couldn’t be quicker to make. The pancetta is entirely optional so if you are veggie or don’t eat pork, just leave it out. And I always make extra as this pasta tastes so good cold too so I make enough for my lunch the next day and for Anya’s snack/lunch box for school.