Pretty fast in itself, this recipe can also be done in stages throughout the day.
I thought it was going to be a froufrou, girly recipe, but my husband liked it! Must have been the bacon.
6 – 8 slices bacon (half a packet)
6 oz frozen spinach (half a bag)
2 T flour
1 t garlic salt
¼ t pepper
2 cups milk
½ cup shredded cheese (optional)
¼ cup sour cream (optional)
6 oz dry whole-grain rotini (half a box)
Fry the bacon until crisp; drain on paper towels. Pour half the drippings into a deep saucepan; reserve the other half in the skillet. Meanwhile, partially thaw frozen spinach.
Slightly heat the reserved bacon grease in the skillet. Gently put the frozen spinach in it, a little at a time. If not done carefully, the water in the spinach could cause the bacon grease to spit and burn you. Keep the spinach on low heat, stirring the grease into it until it is completely thawed and has absorbed the grease. You can do that periodically while making the white sauce.
For white sauce, reheat the bacon grease in the saucepan. Add 1 t to 1 T of butter, depending on how much grease you have. The behavior of the butter will tell you when the grease is the right temperature. Mix flour, garlic salt and pepper in a small bowl. When the butter is melted and starting to sizzle, dump the flour mixture into the saucepan. Stir it to create and partially cook a rout, until all the grease is absorbed. Then add the two cups milk, pouring carefully in case the cold milk causes the grease to spit. Cook and stir the mixture over medium to high heat until it thickens and begins to bubble. Cook and stir one minute more to make sure the flour is fully cooked. Reduce heat to low. Optionally, stir in ½ cup shredded cheese until it melts into the sauce. I used cheddar and Monterey Jack; Swiss would also work well.
Boil water and 1 t salt in a large pot. Add the rotini and cook 12 minutes or until done. (Whole wheat pasta often requires a slightly longer cooking time.) Meanwhile, stir the spinach into the white sauce. Optionally, stir in ¼ cup sour cream. Crumble the bacon and add it to the white sauce.
When the pasta is done, drain thoroughly and add it to white sauce. Mix everything together. Serve with Parmesan and ground black pepper. Serves 4.