Today I am reminiscing about our wonderful time in Italy as a family earlier this Summer. My favorite thing about it (besides the food obviously!) was getting to spend time together as a family, just the four of us on a little adventure. Pete and I got to take them through Tuscany, show them where we were married so many years ago, the never-ending fields of sunflowers and olive groves, the rows of cypress trees and the beautiful villages crammed tight with red tiled roofs and the wonderful winding cobblestone streets. We spent time in Florence and in Rome and one of my greatest joys was that we went and ate together at every lunch and almost every dinner (Pete and I had to squeeze in a few date nights here and there!)
And each of our meal times in Italy were an occasion to celebrate- so different from the usual grab and go lunches at home on a normal day. And even though we always try to sit down for dinner together at here- it’s typically efficient, not the long savored, wine fueled events that we enjoyed in Italy.
So I was excited when Dietz and Watson asked me to partner with them for their Choose The Table campaign, which is all about celebrating time around the table with the people that you love.
For our Choose The Table meal, my family and I made a meal inspired by our Italian adventures with antipasti, fresh salad and vegetables and of course pasta!
Coco had been craving pesto pasta with pancetta ever since we got back from Italy, so that is what led me to this delicious dish. I happily crisped up some Dietz and Watson Gourmet Center Cut Bacon as the crowning jewel on this pasta which was bright with fresh seasonal ingredients.
We started our meal with a gorgeous prosciutto platter with fresh figs and sprinkled with basil and drizzled with olive oil and balsamic.
Then we moved on to a peppery arugula salad with fresh figs.
Tender asparagus with a balsamic glaze
And then the most delicious BLT Pesto Pasta. It’s pasta tossed with a pesto made from fresh aromatic basil, peppery arugula and grassy spinach, and then topped with fried red onions, crispy, salty bacon and the sweetest cherry tomatoes! The dish is so full of flavor that it even had my youngest Coco going back for seconds!
So my wish for you is that you whip up a batch of this pasta, and sit just a little bit longer at your table with a glass of wine and really enjoy this pasta with your family or the people you love. Ciao!
And Seattle friends, you can enter to win an amazing dinner with Chef Giselle Wellman here in the city of Seattle as she partners with Dietz and Watson for their Choose The Table cross-country culinary tour!
- 1 pound gluten-free spaghetti
- 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
- 2 cups packed fresh spinach
- 2 cups packed arugula
- 1 clove garlic
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- kosher salt
- 4-5 slices of Gourmet Dietz and Watson Bacon
- 1 red onion, cut into ¼” thick rounds
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- Cook the bacon in a heavy pan over medium heat until crispy and then transfer to a paper towel to drain. Gently add the rounds of red onion to the bacon fat and sprinkle them with kosher salt. Let them cook until fried and tender, about 3-4 minutes on each side, flipping them with a spatula after the first side is done cooking.
- While the bacon and onions are cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile prepare a bowl of ice water. Plunge all of the greens into the boiling water and let it sit for about 10 seconds and then scoop the greens all up with a slotted spoon or Chinese spider and immediately plunge the greens into the ice water.
- Add the pasta to the still boiling water and cook until al dente according to manufacturers directions. Then drain and rinse the pasta with cold water to stop the cooking.
- With the greens, pull them from the ice water and squeeze out the extra moisture then add them to a blender. Add the garlic, olive oil and red wine vinegar and puree on high until bright green and smooth. Season to taste with kosher salt.
- Toss the pasta with the pesto and season to taste with kosher salt. Add the fried red onions to the bowl and add the cherry tomatoes. Crumble the bacon over the top and serve the pasta immediately.
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What a beautiful spread! Sounds like a delicious meal. And that pasta combines some of my favorite ingredients ever. Can’t wait to try it!
Italy is super high on my “must visit” list. You make it sound so awesome!
Italy is SO inspiring. This is a beautiful meal!
That red onion looks amazing!! I need to try this recipe! You had me at pesto + bacon! Loving the flavors going on in this! Such a great dinner for any night of the week!
Thanks so much Lexi!!
Your Italy trip sounds so dreamy and this looks delicious!
Thank you Jeanine!
BLT and pasta?! In LOVE with this combo!!
Those tomatoes are calling my name and Coco is ADORABLE!
Is there a duplication of plunging the greens into the water in the #2, or do you really do it twice? Thank you! Your recipes are always incredibly beautiful & inspiring.
Hi Sherry! Sorry if that was confusing! I mean to plunge the greens into the boiling water for a minute and then transfer them to the ice water to stop the cooking! (It will leave the pesto bright green like in the picture instead of it turning a brownish green)
OMG coco is just too cute! I can see why she went back for more! Love it! and what a fun dish to sit around the table and share. <3
This looks just gorgeous Heather!