Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
- 8 slices bacon
- 10 ounces uncooked L'Abruzzese orzo pasta (about 1 2/3 cup uncooked orzo)
- 1/2 cup reserved pasta water, after pasta is done boiling
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- ½ cup shredded carrots (or carrots cut into matchsticks)
- 2/3 cup frozen or fresh sweet corn
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks
- 1 (5 ounce) package organic spinach
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes, plus more if desired
- Freshly ground Murray River salt and pepper
- To garnish: Fresh flat-leaf parsley + extra parmesan cheese, corn and bacon on top
Add bacon to a large skillet or pan and place over medium heat, cook bacon on both sides until crispy and golden brown. If the pan starts to smoke at any point, simply lower the heat. I always cook my bacon on medium low heat. Once bacon is done, blot with a paper towel to absorb excess grease, then chop into bite sized pieces and set aside.
While the bacon is cooking, place a large pot of water over high heat and add in a generous amount of salt. Once water boils, stir in the orzo and cook until al dente about 7-9 minutes. Once orzo is done cooking, drain pasta and set aside in the colander. Make sure to reserve ½ cup of the pasta water.
Next add 1 tablespoon butter to the same pot you cooked the pasta in and place over medium heat. Once butter is melted, add in minced garlic, carrot, corn, red bell pepper and sauté for 2 minutes.
Next add in spinach; cooking until the spinach wilts, about 2 minutes. Add the cooked orzo back into the pot and turn the heat to low. Stir in the reserved pasta water, parmesan, garlic powder and red chili pepper flakes.
Finally, stir in bacon crumbles. Add salt and pepper to taste. I like to add A LOT of black pepper into this dish -- it just gives it a really nice flavor! If you think it needs a little extra parmesan cheese, feel free to stir in 1/4 cup more. Enjoy.
Recipe from the Ambitious Kitchen, by Monique Volz