This light pasta dish was a homerun twist on the classic BLT combo. Crispy bacon, cherry tomatoes and spinach come together with thick rigatoni pasta, smothered in a mozzarella cheese sauce, topped with parmesan and baked to perfection. And it won’t break the calorie bank either at only 402 calories per serving (1/6th of a whole 13” x 9” pan) .
BLT Rigatoni Ingredients
12 oz. rigatoni pasta
8 slices bacon
5 oz. cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups baby spinach leaves
2 tbsp. butter
¼ cup whole wheat flour
1 tbsp. garlic
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
2 cups milk (whole, skim or almond are fine)
4 oz. (about 1 cup) shredded mozzarella cheese
2 oz. (about ½ cup) grated parmesan cheese
Cook bacon by whatever method you prefer (should be slightly crispy). Set aside to cool.
Cook pasta according to package directions, and in the meantime, prepare the cheese sauce.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk until all the flour has absorbed the butter. Add the milk, garlic, salt and pepper and temporarily increase the heat to high, whisking constantly. When the sauce starts to bubble, immediately turn the heat down to medium and continue to whisk until the sauce is thickened. Remove from heat and whisk in the mozzarella cheese until melted. Stir in the spinach leaves until slightly wilted.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat a 9” x 13” baking dish with cooking spray.
Chop the bacon and drain the rigatoni. Add the bacon, rigatoni and tomatoes to the cheese sauce in the saucepan, stirring well to combine (I used a spatula).
Pour the rigatoni/sauce mixture into the baking dish in an even layer. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top. Bake for 25 minutes, until bubbly and parmesan cheese and rigatoni are golden.
Nutrition (for 1/6th recipe – calculated using almond milk): Calories 402, Fat 14.1g, Carbs 48g, Protein 19.7g
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