1 package (12 oz.) bacon, sliced into ½-inch pieces 2½ cups chicken broth 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes 8 oz. uncooked penne pasta (about 2½ cups) ¼ tsp black pepper 1 bag (5 oz.) fresh baby spinach 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved (optional) ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese Chopped fresh basil or parsley leaves (optional)
In a four-quart Dutch oven, cook the bacon until nearly crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate lined with several layers of paper towels and set aside. Pour off the excess bacon fat but do not wipe the pan clean. In the same pan over high heat, bring 2 cups of chicken broth, canned tomatoes, pasta, and black pepper to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium. Simmer uncovered 11 to 14 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding more broth as needed, until pasta is al dente and most of the liquid is absorbed. Reduce the heat to medium-low and gradually add spinach. Stir constantly until the spinach begins to wilt. Remove from heat. Stir in cherry tomatoes and bacon. Top with Parmesan cheese and basil or parsley leaves, if desired.