The only way to improve the age-old family favourite, pesto pasta, is to add some crispy bacon and sharp Parmesan. With oh-so-many textures and well-loved flavours, this dish is sure to please the whole table!
Always read product labels for the most up-to-date allergen information. Visit hellofresh.co.nz/foodinfo for allergen and ingredient information. If you have received a substitute ingredient, please be aware allergens may have changed
baby spinach leaves
penne(ContainsGlutenMay be presentEgg, Soy)
flaked almonds(ContainsTree NutsMay be presentSoy, Gluten, Peanuts, Sesame, Milk)
chicken-style stock powder
basil pesto(ContainsTree Nuts, Milk)
mixed salad leaves
grated Parmesan cheese(ContainsMilk)
Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to the boil. Thinly slice the apple (unpeeled). Roughly chop the baby spinach leaves. Finely chop the garlic.
Add the penne to the boiling water and cook until 'al dente', 10 minutes. Reserve some pasta water (1/4 cup for 2 people / 1/2 cup for 4 people), then drain and return the pasta to the saucepan. Drizzle with a little olive oil to prevent sticking and cover to keep warm. TIP: 'Al dente' pasta is cooked through but still slightly firm in the centre.
While the pasta is cooking, heat a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the flaked almonds and toast, tossing, until golden, 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
Return the frying pan to a medium-high heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Add the diced bacon and cook until golden, 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and butter and cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add the longlife cream (see ingredients), chicken-style stock powder and reserved pasta water. Season with pepper and cook until slightly reduced, 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir through the baby spinach, basil pesto and cooked penne. Season to taste.
In a large bowl, combine the balsamic vinegar and a drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add the mixed salad leaves and apple, then toss to combine.
Divide the creamy bacon and pesto penne between bowls and top with the grated Parmesan cheese. Serve with the apple salad and garnish with the toasted almonds.