Without a doubt, BLTs are one of our favorite summer meals. They make it onto the menu at least once every couple of weeks.  After all, we have to take advantage of summer tomatoes while we have them.  As with anything, better ingredients makes for a much better meal – fresh tomatoes, local bacon, homemade bread of one kind or another.  This particular week, we were completely out of any homemade bread that would work for a sandwich but then I recalled seeing this dish in one of my new cookbooks and decided to mix it up a bit.

To say this was a resounding hit would be an understatement. With Caroline who loves anything involving pasta, with Ben and Andrew who think bacon is the greatest, and with me, who enjoyed the complete and total silence at the dinner table while this was being devoured. That kind of peace is exceedingly rare but I’ll take what I can get. Since lettuce doesn’t do so well tossed with warm pasta, we’ll say the “L” stands for leafy green – use whatever you like best.  Arugula could work, but we used baby spinach.  I’ll be sure to keep this in mind next time I’m in need of a chaos-free meal.


1 lb. pasta shapes, such as mini shells
12 slices bacon, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
12 oz. cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
5-6 oz. leafy greens, such as baby spinach
2 oz. grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 cup), plus more for serving
Salt and pepper, to taste


  • 01

    Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the pasta and cook just until al dente according to the package directions.

  • 02

    Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease from the skillet. Add the garlic and tomatoes to the pan and cook until the tomatoes are just slightly softened, about 2 minutes.

  • 03

    Drain the pasta, reserving 1½ cups of the pasta water.  Return the drained pasta to the pot, along with the spinach, bacon, garlic-tomato mixture, 1 cup of the reserved pasta water and Parmesan. Stir well until evenly combined and until the spinach is wilted. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add remaining reserved pasta water as needed. Serve warm with additional grated Parmesan.


  • I love BLT’s as well! Great way to change it up by incorporating it into a past dish!

  • What a great way to incorporate two favorites into one dish! I hope my tomatoes start turning red soon!

  • I love that we both posted BLT dishes on the same day. Clara would agree with Ben and Andrew that bacon is the best thing ever. I’ll have to make this for her soon because she would love it!

  • Erika

    Made this for dinner and wow wow wow. Who knew something so simple could be so good? Subbed goat cheese.. Out of this world. Thank you!

  • I actually always ask my dad to get this pasta salad from the grocery store when I visit him (he’s a little past Merrillville, and shops at Strack and Van Til- sooo delish! Should of realized it’s easy to make yourself :P

  • April

    I’m making this tonight, looks yummy. Love a recipe that’s simple since I’ve just moved overseas & am living with very little cloaking gear until my stuff arrives.

  • Pretty sure even the.boy would be silent if I placed this in front of him. First of all, because it contains bacon and second of all because he’d be too busy stuffing his face to speak!

  • christine weeks

    I made this last night and it was simple and amazing. Thank you for this! :)