Creamy Tomato Fettuccine with Spinach & Thyme Breadcrumbs
Family Friendly

Creamy Tomato Fettuccine

with Spinach & Thyme Breadcrumbs

30 MIN
$16.94/serving 2 Servings
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    From the Test Kitchen

    Here, ribbons of basil fettuccine are tossed in a savory tomato and crème fraîche sauce along with spinach and fresh grape tomatoes—first sautéed with woodsy thyme and piquant garlic. It all gets easy, delicious contrast from a finishing layer of crispy breadcrumbs, pan-toasted with garlic and more fresh thyme.
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    • Nutrition
      PER SERVING
    • Calories
      790 Cals (est.)
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    ingredients
    Creamy Tomato Fettuccine with Spinach & Thyme Breadcrumbs
    Title
    • 3 oz Diced Pancetta
    • ½ lb Fresh Basil Fettuccine Pasta (Previously Frozen)
    • 1 bunch Thyme
    • 2 cloves Garlic
    • 4 oz Grape Tomatoes
    • ¼ cup Panko Breadcrumbs
    • 3 oz Baby Spinach
    • 1 oz Salted Butter
    • 2 Tbsps Tomato Paste
    • ¼ tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
    • ¼ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
    • 2 Tbsps Crème Fraîche
    time-saving
    tips & techniques
    Prepare the ingredients
    1 Prepare the ingredients

    Remove the pasta from the refrigerator to bring to room temperature. Fill a large pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and finely chop 2 cloves of garlic. Halve the tomatoes.

    Make the garlic-thyme breadcrumbs
    2 Make the garlic-thyme breadcrumbs

    In a large pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the breadcrumbs, half the chopped garlic, and half the thyme sprigs; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned and toasted. Transfer to a plate. Carefully discard the thyme sprigs. Immediately season with salt. Wipe out the pan.

    Cook the pancetta & vegetables
    3 Cook the pancetta & vegetables

    In the same pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the pancetta and halved tomatoes in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the remaining chopped garlic and remaining thyme sprigs; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the vegetables are slightly softened and the pancetta is cooked through. Carefully discard the thyme sprigs.

    Make the sauce
    4 Make the sauce

    Add the tomato paste to the pan; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. Add 3/4 cup of water (carefully, as the liquid may splatter) and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Cook, stirring frequently, 3 to 4 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened and the tomatoes are softened. Add the spinach; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until wilted. Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired.

    Cook the pasta
    5 Cook the pasta

    Meanwhile, using your hands, carefully separate the strands of the pasta. Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly and return to the pot.

    Finish & serve your dish
    6 Finish & serve your dish

    To the pot of cooked pasta, add the sauce, butter, and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until combined and the pasta is coated (if necessary, gradually add the remaining cooking water to ensure the pasta is thoroughly coated). Turn off the heat. Stir in the crème fraîche until combined. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished pasta garnished with the thyme breadcrumbs and cheese. Enjoy!

    Tips from Home Chefs

    Prepare the ingredients
    1 Prepare the ingredients

    Remove the pasta from the refrigerator to bring to room temperature. Fill a large pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and finely chop 2 cloves of garlic. Halve the tomatoes.

    2 Make the garlic-thyme breadcrumbs

    In a large pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the breadcrumbs, half the chopped garlic, and half the thyme sprigs; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned and toasted. Transfer to a plate. Carefully discard the thyme sprigs. Immediately season with salt. Wipe out the pan.

    Make the garlic-thyme breadcrumbs
    Cook the pancetta & vegetables
    3 Cook the pancetta & vegetables

    In the same pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the pancetta and halved tomatoes in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the remaining chopped garlic and remaining thyme sprigs; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the vegetables are slightly softened and the pancetta is cooked through. Carefully discard the thyme sprigs.

    4 Make the sauce

    Add the tomato paste to the pan; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. Add 3/4 cup of water (carefully, as the liquid may splatter) and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Cook, stirring frequently, 3 to 4 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened and the tomatoes are softened. Add the spinach; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until wilted. Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired.

    Make the sauce
    Cook the pasta
    5 Cook the pasta

    Meanwhile, using your hands, carefully separate the strands of the pasta. Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly and return to the pot.

    6 Finish & serve your dish

    To the pot of cooked pasta, add the sauce, butter, and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until combined and the pasta is coated (if necessary, gradually add the remaining cooking water to ensure the pasta is thoroughly coated). Turn off the heat. Stir in the crème fraîche until combined. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished pasta garnished with the thyme breadcrumbs and cheese. Enjoy!

    Finish & serve your dish
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