Bucatini, Bacon and Peas with Spinach Pesto

By: Marge Perry & David Bonom

Ingredients

For the Pesto:

5 cups baby spinach
1 cup fresh basil
1/4 cup toasted walnuts
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup + additional for serving Parmesan cheese,  grated
6 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper   

For the Pasta:

1 pound bucatini pasta
6 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh or frozen peas

Directions

  1. For the pesto, combine the spinach, basil, walnuts, garlic, 1/4 cup cheese, oil, salt and pepper in a blender and puree.
  2. Bring a Dutch oven of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions; drain.
  3. Return the Dutch oven to the stove over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is browned, 7-8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until starting to brown, about 1-1 1/2 minutes. Stir in the peas and cook until bright green, about 2 minutes. Add the reserved pasta and cook until heated through, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and toss with the pesto. Divide among serving plates and serve with additional cheese if desired.