Monday, February 20, 2012

Baked Penne with Bacon, Red Bell Peppers, and Spinach

Think of this as Mac and Cheese, on crack.

Its has the bake-y cheesy carb-y comfort food factor, but a ka-pow of bacon and roasted red bell peppers. There are a lot of pots to this meal but its worth the clean up.

Baked Penne with Bacon, Red Bell Peppers, and Spinach
Adapted from RecipeGirl


For the sauce:
2 cups milk
16oz container Pacific Natural Foods Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup (in the soup or natural section)
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp flour
salt and pepper

For the pasta:
1 pound penne pasta, cooked at dente according to instructions
8 slices bacon
1 jar roasted red bell peppers, drained and chopped
1 pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
6 oz sliced provolone, torn into chunks
1 1/2 cups shredded parmesan, divided
Salt and pepper

Place bacon on rack on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 for 20+ minutes until very crispy

Cook penne as directed
Once bacon is done, preheat oven to 350


In a small saucepan, heat milk and soup on med heat until small bubbles form around the outside

In a skillet, melt butter

Add flour and whisk. Cook a few minutes, whisking quite often.

Slowly add milk/soup to the flour/butter, whisking thoroughly. It will be lumpy, but it smooths out.

Heat, stirring often, until it thickens up.

In a large bowl, put the sauce, red peppers, crumbled spinach,  the provolone, and 1/2 the parmesan and combine.

Mix in the pasta.

Put into a 9x13 pan and top with crumbled bacon and rest of cheese.

Cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes at 350 and uncover for 10 minutes.

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