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Spaghetti with Bacon, Panko and Arugula for Throwback Thursday

It's throw back thursday and so I am sharing this recipe that I made back in March of 2011 for NoReEats and decided to make again tonight. I have made a few changes since I started making this dish in an effort to lighten it up without sacrificing any flavour because if that can't happen, I will always go with the original, full fatty creamy dish but, in this case, I am happy to report that it's every bit as delicious as the original version that sported a full cup of 35% cream. It's bad enough that we are putting bread crumbs on our pasta - we might as well just throw in a bowl of rice and some mashed potatoes, really. Think of it as an ode to carbs and just don't eat it every day. In the end, this pasta is everything I think pasta should be: quick, easy, flavourful and filling.

Since we are leaving for our two week Jordanian adventure in a day and half-ACK- I am just trying to use up the food in the fridge and my fridge almost always contains arugula and bacon and my pantry is always stocked with panko, evaporated milk, stock, sun dried tomatoes and chili flake so this was a no brainer. We all love the way the sun dried tomatoes get kind of crispy and chewy when you fry them with the breadcrumbs as opposed to soft and squishy when you cook them in with the stock.

* I did not take new photos because daylight savings time now means that it's pitch dark by supper time, we were starving and we ate the whole damned thing.

Spaghetti With Bacon, Panko and Arugula

serves 3-4


200g smoked bacon
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 generous tbls chopped sun dried tomatoes
salt and pepper
pinch of chili pepper flakes
spaghetti for three - that is entirely up to you how much pasta you eat in one sitting, I'm not here to judge
1 tbls olive oil
1 clove of garlic, minced (I used a roasted garlic clove and half crushed, half chopped it)
1/2 evaporated milk
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
1 bunch arugula, washed
kosher salt


fry the bacon until crispy and remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate. Pour off the bacon fat and keep 1 tbls to use for the breadcrumbs. Add the breadcrumbs, sun dried tomatoes, chili flakes and salt and pepper to the bacon fat and saute until the breadcrumbs are golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and then add the spaghetti. While the pasta cooks, heat 1 tbls of olive oil in your saute pan that you have wiped clean and saute the garlic for a minute until it just starts to colour. Throw in the evaporated milk and chicken stock let it simmer lightly and reduce and thicken, about 3 or 4 minutes should do it.

Drain your pasta when it is cooked and put it in a large bowl (reserve some of the pasta water in case your sauce needs a bit of thinning). Pour the cream over the top, add half the cheese, the bacon and the arugula and mix it all together until the arugula starts to wilt and it's well combined. If it seems way too thick for your tastes, add a tiny bit(start with 2 or 3 tbls) of pasta water and mix. Taste and add salt to taste.

Either sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top of the pasta in one big serving bowl or make up individual bowls and sprinkle the breadcrumbs over each one.

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