Although fried chicken was the original flag carrier when Don Henrico’s first became a hit in Baguio City, the menu also included several varieties of pasta dishes. When branches started to sprout all over Metro Manila, diners were smitten with dishes like black pasta made with squid ink. Quite a phenomenon, really. Sure, the ones who could afford pricier restaurants could enjoy good pasta but, until Don Henrico’s came along, the average Filipino diner defined spaghetti by its sweet red sauce with sliced hotdogs.
I haven’t dined at Don Henrico’s in years and I don’t know how the food is nowadays. But whether or not the food is still good, I will always credit Don Henrico’s for introducing the average diner to a whole new pasta experience that was definitely a far cry from fast food spaghetti with its artificially colored red sauce and mysterious bit and pieces represented as ground beef.
Pasta is a wonderful thing. It can be a very (relatively) inexpensive yet tasty dish with minimum ingredients. The secret is in a tasty sauce. And when I say sauce, I don’t mean the usual red goo on top of fast food spaghetti. When I say sauce, I mean things like olive oil and garlic. Or pesto. Or even raw eggs in the case of carbonara.
This pasta dish was made with — believe it or not — the spinach dip that I made a couple of nights ago. I was by myself yesterday for lunch and I didn’t really feel like cooking anything from scratch. I boiled some fettuccine, fried some bacon then tossed the pasta and bacon with a heaping tablespoonful of the spinach dip. What a stupendous pasta dish it turned out to be. And it took so little time to get everything together too.
- 50 g. of fettuccine (or your preferred pasta shape)
- 2 bacon rashers, roughly chopped
- a heaping tbsp. of spinach dip
- Cook the pasta in boiling salted water.
- While the pasta cooks, fry the bacon in a non-stick frying pan.
- When the bacon is nicely browned, turn off the heat. Add the spinach dip to the still hot pan. Stir to partially liquefy the dip.
- Drain the pasta and dump into the bacon-spinach dip mixture. Toss. Serve.