Penne with Asparagus, Feta & Turkey Bacon

It’s been lovely to take a few days off to celebrate Easter, visit family and travel with our kids during their Spring Break – we had the pleasure of hosting the (stuffed) class pet during break – I’m grateful we did not have any of the LIVE ones as they would have been somewhat more challenging to pack!

I’m back to work today, and after fun lunchtime speaking engagement with a group at the Scripps Corporation, I’m  thinking about meals for the week ahead…here’s one that is going on the list. It’s quick, easy, and bursting with flavor – and I think my kids will love it! Just in case you’d pass over this because you dread cleaning your bacon-splattered stovetop, I’ve included easy instructions for a no-mess method for oven-cooked bacon. Sometimes it’s the little things…


Penne with Asparagus, Feta & Turkey Bacon


serves 4-6



3 tablespoons olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

1 pound asparagus, tough ends removed, sliced on a bias into 1-inch pieces

1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half

3/4 teaspoon salt

freshly ground pepper to taste

12 ounces whole grain pasta

6 slices cooked turkey bacon, cut into 1/4-inch slices (see note below on oven-cooked bacon)

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese



1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions.

2. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil. Add the garlic and saute 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the asparagus and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until asparagus is just bright green and crisp tender.

3. In a large serving bowl toss pasta with asparagus and tomato mixture and bacon. Top with feta and serve warm.


Note: Here is a simple way to cook bacon in the oven. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil (easy cleanup). Arrange bacon slices on foil and place on the center rack of a cold oven. Close the oven door. Turn the oven on to 400 degrees. Cook for 17-20 minutes until golden brown. (Cooking times may vary depending upon the thickness of your bacon and how quickly your oven heats up.) Remove bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and blot to remove extra grease.  That’s it — no splattered bacon grease and no pan to clean up!

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