Perhaps that's why I got a little over-excited when my friend Jackie told me about her supper, which she adapted from a recipe she found in a Today's Parent magazine. I decided to make it for my mom (who needs a potluck dish for tonight, and was going to take scalloped potatoes made from a box, which she swears are delicious. I'm sure they are, Mom, but why don't you let me take care of this.)
I went looking for the original recipe, and I have a little recipe scandal for you! Apparently someone entered this recipe into a contest at Today's Parent and won a fridge. Good for her, right? Wrong... if you read the comments below the recipe, it appears that it's quite similar (almost identical) to this recipe from Kraft Canada. Tsk tsk. This is why, before I entered my Smokey Chicken Caesar Salad into an online contest, I searched the internet for other recipes that might be similar, and came to the conclusion that my recipe was unique (or that I was no good at internet searches... I'm hoping it wasn't the latter!) I also make sure I give credit to other bloggers and websites when I adapt their recipes on my blog.
Anyway, my friend gave me her version of this "original" recipe, and I've also added my own little twist to it, so here's our collaborative effort:
BETTER BACON & TOMATO PASTA
spaghetti, enough for 4 people
8 thick slices of bacon (leave out the bacon if you want to make this a vegetarian meal, or try sautéed shrimp instead)
1 c. mushrooms, sliced
6 stalks of asparagus, trimmed and cut into thirds
1 jar Alfredo sauce (or use 1 c. milk and 1 pkg. cream cheese)
1-2 tbsp. Herb & Garlic Dip Mix (my friend used 3 Onion and Roasted Red Pepper, but almost any Epicure dip mix would probably work)
1/4 c. parmesan cheese
1 tomato, diced
Boil pasta. Fry bacon in a skillet, then crumble into pieces and set aside. Drain the bacon fat (saving about 1 tbsp. for later) and deglaze the skillet with some water (pour a little bit of water in the pan and scrape off the bottom of the pan, then dump it out.) Add the reserved bacon fat to the pan and sauté mushrooms and asparagus until mushrooms are browned and asparagus can be pierced with a fork. Set aside with bacon. Turn heat to low and pour alfredo sauce into skillet along with dip mix and parmesan cheese. Once cheese has melted, stir in bacon and veggie mixture and then pour over drained pasta, tossing to combine. Serve with fresh tomato on top.
I don't even like pasta, but this is gonna taste good. I can just tell. And you know how I know? I'll give you a hint, and it starts with the letter B....
Update: This turned out PERFECTLY! Oh my goodness, it was delicious. The kids objected to the asparagus and mushrooms, but I bribed them with icecream and my daughter polished off two plates. My hubby is on his way home from a weekend trip, and almost salivated into the phone when I told him what would be waiting for him. And I'm talking about the pasta... get your minds out of the gutter!)