One-Pot Pasta Primavera with Bacon and Feta

A springtime dinner recipe you'll want to make all year round.

One-Pot Pasta Primavera with Bacon and Feta
Photo: Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Ruth Blackburn; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
30 mins

A pasta supper perfect for springtime—can we get a hallelujah? Using only one pot for this One-Pot Pasta Primavera with Bacon and Feta builds flavor and keeps the dishwashing to a minimum.

In this recipe, perfectly al dente bowtie pasta meets a light, flavorful sun-dried tomato-pesto sauce. No waiting for water to boil here: we cook the pasta right in with the onions, tomatoes, pesto, and chicken stock, which reduces to create an irresistibly silky, rich sauce for the noodles. The secret ingredient that enriches this pasta sauce? Good ol' bacon drippings. Cooking the bacon first (reserving the crumbles for topping the pasta) allows the fat to render in the pan, spiking the pasta with a rich dose of flavor. Spinach adds a nice green color to the pasta dish and a touch of vinegar, stirred in at the very end, brings a welcome note of tang.

You only need 30 minutes to cook this pasta dish from start to finish. And any leftover pasta will taste great the next day heated up for lunch. If it seems a little dry when reheating, stir in a bit of chicken stock to loosen things up.


  • 12 ounces extra-thick-cut bacon (about 6 slices), cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces 

  • 1 large red onion, cut into ¾-inch wedges, petals separated (about 2 cups) 

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes

  • 4 cups chicken stock

  • 1 cup water

  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomato pesto (such as Rao's)

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 pound uncooked mini farfalle pasta

  • 1 (5-oz.) pkg. fresh baby spinach

  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar 

  • 3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about ¾ cup)


  1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Add bacon, and cook, stirring often, until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove to a paper towel-lined plate, reserving ¼ cup drippings in pot. Crumble bacon; set aside.

  2. Add onion and tomatoes to drippings; increase heat to high. Cook, stirring often, until onion softens and begins to brown and tomatoes burst, about 6 minutes. Add stock, water, pesto, salt, and pepper; stir using a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits from bottom of pot. Add pasta; partially cover pot. Cook, uncovering and stirring often, until al dente, about 8 minutes. Add spinach; cook, uncovered, stirring often, until spinach wilts and sauce thickens, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vinegar.

  3. Divide pasta evenly among 6 bowls; top with crumbled bacon and feta.

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