I had great intentions of baking up a tasty Jerk Chicken Pizza tonight. But, when the dough was nearly finished rising and I was just finishing rendering the jerk sauce, I hear “Eye of the Tiger” playing on Kyle’s phone – signaling that work is calling him. I figure I might as well cool down on the cooking process until I get the scoop. Sure enough, he’s been called out for work. I could have continued on with my cooking and enjoyed the fantastic spicy pizza on my own, but earlier in the day Kyle’s eyes lit up when I mentioned I’d be pizza-fying (word?) the leftover jerk chicken that was in the fridge. I couldn’t be so cruel to eat this dinner all on my own. So I packed up the dough and the thickened jerk sauce into the fridge for tomorrow.
I still had to eat though. I poked my head in the fridge and found bacon, lemons, fresh pasta and spinach. Oh, and I just picked up grape tomatoes for a salad tonight. Quick dinner lightbulb flashed in my head, and within 15 minutes I was eating. So here it is for you in case you find yourself in a pinch and want a quick satisfying dinner for one.
Spinach, Bacon & Tomato Linguine
4 oz linguine, fresh or dried
1 slice apple-wood smoked bacon, sliced
1/4 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1 handful fresh spinach
1/2 lemon – juice & zest
olive oil (optional)
chili flakes (optional)
Bring water to boil. Salt water and cook pasta according to directions. (Keep some of the pasta water)
Meanwhile, in a non-stick pan, fry bacon over medium high heat to your level of doneness (I like mine fairly crispy). If there was not a lot of fat rendered out, you can add a bit of olive oil (about 1 tsp), but this is not necessary. Add tomatoes and spinach and saute for about 3-4 minutes, until spinach is cooked down. Add drained pasta to pan, along with juice of 1/2 a lemon, plus about 1/2 tsp of lemon zest. Add chili flakes (to taste) and 1 Tbsp parmesan cheese. Toss everything together, coating the linguine with the lemon and tomato juices. Add some pasta water if things are too dry. Serve in a bowl and top with additional parmesan cheese if desired.