1 pound (16 ounces) dried gluten free rotini pasta (my favorite brand is Barilla)
8 ounces thick-cut smoked bacon, diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cups (300 g) sour cream
1/4 cup (4 fluid ounces) chicken stock or pasta water, plus more as necessary
2 tablespoons (1 fluid ounce) apple cider vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
1 pound (about 3 cups) cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
5 ounces baby spinach or mixed baby greens
3 ounces finely grated asiago cheese (or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese)
Boil the pasta to an al dente texture according to the package directions. I boil mine for 5 minutes flat. Drain and rinse with cold water, and set aside briefly.*
*The pasta can be boiled up to a day ahead of time, then drained and rinsed, tossed with a tablespoon or two of extra virgin olive oil then covered tightly and stored at room temperature. Proceed with the recipe when ready.
In a medium-size, heavy-bottom saucepan, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until browned and crispy (about 5 minutes). Remove the cooked bacon from the saucepan and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Drain off all but 2 tablespoons of the rendered bacon fat and set it aside. Press the minced garlic with the flat side of a large knife into a paste with the kosher salt, then add it to the pan. Cook the garlic in the bacon fat over medium heat until fragrant (about 2 minutes). Add the sour cream, stock, vinegar, and as much of the rendered bacon fat as you dare, and whisk until smooth and well-combined. Add more stock by the teaspoonful as necessary to thin the sauce.
Add the cooked pasta to the pan and toss to coat. Remove the pan from the heat and add the tomatoes, greens, 2 ounces of the grated cheese, and cooked bacon, and fold gently into the pasta. Divide into 4 servings and sprinkle evenly with the remaining ounce of grated cheese. Serve immediately.
Adapted from Allrecipes Magazine. Originally posted on the blog in 2016. Video and some text new.