Country Pasta With Mozzarella

mozzarella pasta salad

The other day I was playing around on my iPhone when I came across an app for allrecipe.com’s Dinner Spinner. It is the neatest little app and I am officially in love. I am in the process of reserving a flight for me and the dinner spinner. We are running off together and never coming back. Goodbye forever.

Before I go, I thought I would share a recipe that I discovered while sitting in the car at the grocery store parking lot wondering what the heck I was going to make for dinner that night. Dinner Spinner totally saved the day.

Country Pasta with Mozzarella is a delicious little recipe that I need to go make again, right this minute, because my husband ate it all before I could stop him. Doesn’t he know that the pasta is mine and he was supposed to eat all the grilled meat and leave me the girl food? It must be the bacon in this pasta that made him forget the rules.

chopped broccoli and bacon

This recipe is simple and quick. I made it as a side dish with grilled chicken, but it’d be a perfect lunch on it’s own.

First things first, let’s boil up about 8 ounces of pasta. I used farfalle. I love the shape. The original recipe called for rigatoni, but, let’s be honest here, rigatoni is boring.

While the pasta is boiling, chop up two cups of fresh broccoli, eight slices of bacon, and a couple cloves of garlic.

cooking bacon and broccoli

Dump the bacon in a large frying pan and cook until it is almost crispy. Dump in the garlic and broccoli and cook them in the bacon grease for 4 to 5 minutes, until the broccoli loses a bit of the raw crunch. Don’t freak out about the bacon grease either. This is Buns In My Oven, you wouldn’t be here if you didn’t love bacon grease.

Dump your al dente pasta right in the pan with the bacon and broccoli (and bacon grease, I SAID don’t freak out!) and top it with 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (I used the powdered stuff, it was delicious), 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and 1/4 cup of fresh chopped parsley.

Stir it all up over very low heat and don’t panic. It will be a big gloppy mess. The mozzarella gets all stringy and melty and it isn’t pretty. Pasta doesn’t have to be pretty though, just close your eyes and take a bite. You won’t regret it.

mozzarella salad

Real quick, let me tell you about all the different ways you could make this dish your own. You could make this a main dish by adding cooked, chopped chicken. You could replace the bacon with the chicken (you’d need to add a tablespoon or two of olive oil to cook the broccoli in) or you could just use the chicken in addition to the bacon. You could substitute asparagus for the broccoli. You could chop up a bell pepper and cook it in with the broccoli. You could chop up a sweet yellow onion and add it while the bacon was cooking, but only do this if you aren’t married to my husband, because he would probably throw a fit about the addition of onion. You could play with the cheeses, adding different varieties or swapping the mozzarella for something else entirely. I’m thinking cream cheese would be beautiful in this dish.

mozarella pasta salad on fork

Country Pasta with Mozzarella
Recipe from allrecipes.com

  • 8 ounces farfalle pasta
  • 8 slices bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1. Cook pasta according to package directions and drain.

2. In large skillet, cook the bacon until almost crisp. To the pan, add broccoli and garlic. Cook until the broccoli is slightly tender, stirring often, about 4 to 5 minutes.

3. Pour in the cooked pasta, mozzarella, parmesan, cayenne and parsley. Stir together over very low heat until the cheese is melted.