The weather in Perth at the moment is unseasonably cold – today we had a maximum of 16C and about 40mm rain (!?!). Usually this time of year the air conditioner is on non-stop and we are sweating our way through the days (and nights!). While there has been lots of moaning and groaning about the cooler change – I love it! Our power bill has got to be thanking us as we have barely turned the air-conditioner on, our lawn is gorgeous and green without the need for constant sprinkling AND we can enjoy lots of hearty winter food like soups and pastas. Hooray! 💜
The night before last I made this gorgeous tomato and ricotta pasta. Recently I have been using ricotta a lot more as a substitute for cream in ‘creamy’ pastas and it works a treat. I buy the smooth, low fat ricotta and it honestly goes so well in the pasta, you wouldn’t for a minute think you had opted for a healthier alternative.
This pasta is quick and easy to throw together and has lots of gorgeous flavours. The mushrooms and spinach give it a good iron kick too which if you are low in iron like me is just an added bonus!
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, finely diced
6 pieces of short bacon, diced
150g button mushrooms, sliced
120g baby english spinach, washed
150g semi-sundried tomatoes
200g smooth ricotta
2oog cherry tomatoes, halved
300g short pasta
fresh basil, to garnish
parmesan cheese, to garnish
salt and pepper to taste
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Heat oil in a large, heavy based saucepan over medium heat and fry off the onions and the garlic until soft and fragrant.
Turn the heat up a little bit, add the diced bacon and sliced mushrooms and cook, stirring continuously until the mushrooms have sweated down and the bacon is cooked and sizzling.
Add the semi-sundried tomatoes and stir through until they have broken down and incorporated with the onion / bacon / mushroom mixture.
Add the spinach and gently toss through until it wilts. You might have to do this in batches but it won’t take long for the spinach to sweat down. Then, turn off the heat and set aside.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted water according to packet instructions. Use a large saucepan so you can combine the pasta with the cooked ingredients easily at the end.
Once cooked, drain the pasta (leaving about 1/4 cup of the salted water with the pasta).
To the saucepan of pasta add the cooked mushroom and bacon mixture, the ricotta and the halved cherry tomatoes. Toss to combine. Turn back on the heat, taste and season with salt and pepper to your taste. Let simmer for a minute or two to ensure all ingredients are heated through – and then that is it!
Top with freshly grated parmesan, fresh basil and cracked pepper. Serve with crusty bread and a glass of red wine!! 🍷🍷🍷