Spicy Bacon Spinach Alfredo

I love Fettuccine Alfredo – end of story.

…and it’s one of those meals where I always seem to have the ingredients on hand. This dish gives you that awesome, rich, creamy restaurant feel without using heavy cream [bonus!]

I think my favourite part of the recipe is that you cook the pasta right in the sauce – one less step and easier clean-up; an idea inspired by Damn Delicious. I did lose some of the preparation photos – camera problems – but I’m sure you’ll be able to follow along. It is quite a straightforward recipe.

My ingredients included half a 750 g package of fettuccine, about two-thirds bag of spinach, one pack of bacon, 4 cloves of garlic, 1 onion, 2 cups of chicken stock, 1 cup of milk, 2 tbsp of butter, ½ cup of shaved parmesan [grated parmesan would also work], ½ tsp of red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste!

If you don’t want to add bacon, you’ll need some olive oil to sauté the onion and garlic. The amounts of bacon, spinach and red pepper flakes is completely up to you. You can add more, you can add less, you can ditch it completely – it will still taste fantastic.

First, chop up the bacon and cook it in a deep dish frying pan. I find it’s easier to cut up the bacon before rather than after cooking it. After the bacon is cooked, remove it from the pan and put it aside on a plate with some paper towel to absorb that excess fat. Also remove the excess bacon fat from the pan, leaving a little bit in the bottom to cook the onion and garlic.

Dice the onion, mince the garlic and cook until fragrant, perhaps a minute or so… then add the stock, milk, butter, red pepper flakes and pepper, and keep stirring until the butter is melted [with the bacon I decided salt wasn’t needed].

Once the butter is melted, add the uncooked fettuccine. Bring the sauce to a boil then cover it and reduce to a low heat. Leave the fettuccine to cook and the sauce to reduce for about 15-20 minutes.

If you add more pasta, you will need more milk to cook the pasta. *Note: it is not very “saucy”, if you want more sauce you’ll want to add more milk and cheese.*

Now it is a “Spicy” Alfredo, but if you like more or less spice, adjust the red pepper flakes accordingly (⅛ tsp to 1 tsp), or you can cut the red pepper flakes completely. It will still taste amazing!

Once the fettuccine is cooked, it’s time to mix the bacon back in!

After it’s all mixed up, add a ½ cup of shaved parmesan cheese and stir until melted. We buy our shaved parmesan from Costco – seriously it’s worth buying, it’s so useful.

After the dish looks so amazing that you just have to sneak a little taste when no one’s looking, it’s time to wilt in that spinach! I like a lot of spinach so I let some wilt, mixed it in and kept adding more. I ended up using about two-thirds of my bag of spinach [8 oz. or 227 g bag], but you can add however much you want.

Once it’s all wilted, it is ready to serve, and let me tell you, at this point you’ll be DYING to eat it.

so enjoy and stuff your face!


*Note: If you want to add some chicken, I recommend seasoning it [salt, pepper, garlic powder – whatever you want] and cooking it in oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until fully cooked. Then slice and mix into the pasta dish at the end. This way the chicken will be much more moist and tender than the frying pan!*


RECIPE

Spicy Bacon Spinach Alfredo

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4 [or if very hungry – 2 plus a lunch the next day]

Ingredients

  • 1 pack of bacon, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced (or 2 tsp of minced jarred garlic)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • half a pack of 750g fettuccine
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ½ tsp of red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup of grated or shaved parmesan cheese
  • ⅔ of an 8 oz pack of spinach

Directions

  1. Chop up the bacon and cook it in a deep dish frying pan. Once cooked, put bacon on a plate and set aside. Remove excess fat from pan, leaving a little bit – you’ll be cooking the onions and garlic in here.
  2. Dice an onion and mince 4 cloves of garlic, cook at medium heat in the pan for about a minute.
  3. Add the chicken stock, milk, butter, red pepper flakes and pepper, and keep stirring until the butter is melted.
  4. Once melted add the uncooked fettuccine. Bring it up to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Let it simmer and the fettuccine to cook for about 15-20 minutes.
  5. Once that fettuccine is cooked, mix in the cooked bacon, followed by the parmesan and stir until melted.
  6. Next, wilt the spinach and it’s ready to serve! Enjoy!
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