Pasta is an easy dinner to make and this creamy veggie pasta with bacon is no exception. It is creamy without being too indulgent if you use milk. I’ve made this with low-fat milk, whole milk and cream as well and they’re all good.
I make this quite often as not only is it quick and easy, but also because Becca likes pasta and broccoli (see here for her favorite roasted broccoli). I usually make this with penne as it is easier for Becca spear with her fork, but you may use whatever pasta shape you feel like having.
You can also use different vegetables than what I used (which are broccoli and carrots), like zucchini, mushrooms, asparagus, etc. For added protein, you may also add a couple of chicken breasts or some shredded leftover rotisserie chicken.
Let’s make some creamy veggie pasta!
Gather your ingredients.
Prep the aromatics and the vegetables. Section the broccoli into florets, peel the thick stalk and slice into coins. Peel and slice the carrots, dice the onions and mince the garlic.
Once that is done, put a medium pot on the stove and bring 6 cups of water to a boil. What I usually do is use an electric kettle to heat the water as it does a faster job. One the water is boiling, add 2 generous pinches of salt and put in the broccoli. Cook until desired tenderness. Mine takes up to 5 minutes as I need it quite tender for Becca to eat. Once the broccoli is done, take it out with a slotted spoon and transfer to a colander. Reserve the water in the pot to cook your pasta. Run cold running water over the broccoli to preserve the color.
Put in the pasta into the pot and cook until al dente. Drain when done, but reserve some pasta water in case you need it to thin the sauce.
While the pasta is cooking, heat a large pan over medium heat. Cook the bacon until the fat is rendered.
Add in the onions, garlic and carrots. Sauté for a few minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Season with salt and pepper.
In the meantime, grate your cheese.
Add in the flour and stir for a minute. Gradually add in the milk while stirring continuously until you get a smooth sauce. Add in ¼ cup grated cheese and stir until melted. If the sauce is quite thick, add in some pasta water. Usually by the time the pasta is al dente, the sauce is done so I just ladle some water in before draining the pasta.
Add in the broccoli and pasta. Stir until they are covered in the sauce.
Serve with additional cheese and black pepper.