I think it’s important to eat as many vegetables as possible, but I don’t especially like making side dishes. Especially on a weeknight, when I want to get dinner on the table fast and not have to wash too many dishes. That’s why I like one-pot meals so much.
Often I’ll look for creative ways to combine a main dish and side dish into one. Last night I was planning to make a very simple pasta dish with bacon, garlic and red pepper flakes, plus a side dish of sauteed spinach and pine nuts. As I was cooking, it occurred to me that I could save myself a pan and some time by sauteing the spinach with the pasta sauce.
This is very fast-cooking dish that can be made in the time it takes to boil the pasta. First saute some minced bacon over medium heat until crisp. Add a little minced garlic and hot pepper flakes, and saute just a minute, until the garlic turns golden. Put in the spinach and stir to coat. Let the spinach wilt, adding a little of the pasta cooking water. Stir in the cooked pasta, adding a little more cooking water if necessary to help the sauce adhere. Sprinkle with a generous amount of grated Parmesan cheese and some toasted pine nuts to serve.