SHRIMP AND BACON PASTA WITH LEMON WINE SAUCE

Oh Valentines Day, what a weird, twisted and torturous holiday you are….I just don’t know how to handle you.
One one hand, you celebrate LOVE, of all things. It’s kind of hard to hate that. I mean, who wouldn’t want to celebrate love? Well, besides Satan and all. He probably hates Valentines Day too. Your intention as a holiday, I’m sure, is good and true and kind. 
But on the other hand your modern day execution, Valentines Day, it’s the pits. It’s a giant cesspool of commercialism, competition and insecurity. And I’m just talking about my Valentines Day feels here, people. 
And the oddest thing about my jumbled emotions is that they don’t even touch the normal Valentines Day offenders. They have nothing to do with my relationship or my marriage. They’re not about passion or flowers or chocolate or diamonds, or even the lack thereof.

 INGREDIENTS
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 pound fettuccine (or pasta of your choice)
  • 4 slices bacon, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 cup baby spinach, packed
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS
  1. STEP 1 Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta to al dente, according to package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water before draining.
  2. STEP 2 Bring a large skillet to heat over medium-high.
  3. STEP 3 Add bacon and cook until crispy, about 5 minutes, stirring often to avoid burning.
  4. STEP 4 Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel lined plate.
  5. STEP 5 Keeping the drippings in the pan, add the garlic and red pepper, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  6. STEP 6 Add shrimp, seasoning liberally with salt and pepper.
  7. STEP 7 Cook until pink, about 3 minutes, stirring often.
  8. STEP 8 Add wine and lemon juice to the pan, being careful as the liquid may splatter.
  9. STEP 9 Cook, stirring often, 2-3 minutes until liquid is partially reduced.
  10. STEP 10 Add pasta, spinach, and half of reserved bacon to pan, tossing to combine.
  11. STEP 11 Add in 1/4 cup of reserved pasta water and stir, making sure the pasta is coated with the sauce, adding more if it seems dry.
  12. STEP 12 When the spinach has wilted and pasta is coated, stir in the parmesan.
  13. STEP 13 Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
  14. STEP 14 Serve immediately topped with remaining bacon and more parm, if desired.

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