Pregnancy Nutrition: Healthy Pasta Recipe

It's important to look after your diet when you are pregnant - so TalkMum blogger Cath tackles pregnancy nutrition with her healthy pasta recipe.

This is a really easy meal to make and is great for pregnant mums as spinach is full of iron. It is really important to eat healthy food when you are pregnant and finding new ways to cook iron rich foods such as spinach can sometimes be difficult. I had very low iron counts after both my pregnancies and so I had to eat a lot of iron rich foods to try to improve this.

I love cooking and have a huge collection of recipe books where I found lots of recipes with spinach - some were tasty and others were terrible and were never made again! Fortunately my husband was very tolerant and always ate the meal although sometimes he would suggest that a particular recipe should perhaps not be tried again! This recipe was a definite hit and everyone in the family loves it. My eldest son is now 10 and has started cooking - this is easy enough for him to make under supervision.

I have tried different cuts of bacon for this recipe but I have found that the bacon from our local butcher tastes the best as it is cut slightly thicker than supermarket bacon and it has much more flavour. There is also a lot less water in the meat. We are fortunate as we have a couple of great butchers nearby and I think it is really important to support local businesses.

Pasta with Spinach, Bacon & Mushrooms - serves 4

6 large rashers of bacon

1/2 a small onion finely chopped

8oz mushrooms, sliced or quartered depending on preference

1lb fresh spinach leaves with the stems removed

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

12oz pasta shells

2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese

In a frying pan cook the bacon until it is browned. There is no need to add extra oil as the bacon will fry in it's own fat.

Remove from the pan and place on a sheet of kitchen paper to absorb excess fat and then put in a bowl.

Add the onion to the pan and cook until softened

Add the mushrooms and cook until lightly browned, stir frequently.

Using a slotted spoon transfer the onions and mushrooms to the bowl with the bacon. Pour the fat out of the frying pan and add the spinach to the pan.

Cook the spinach over a medium heat until wilted stirring all the time.

Sprinkle with the nutmeg and then increase the temperature to high and cook briskly stirring to evaporate excess liquid from the spinach. Transfer the spinach to a board and chop coarsely, return to the pan

Add the bacon, onion and mushroom to the spinach and stir to mix together. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook the pasta in a large pan of salted boiling water until just tender. Just before the pasta is ready reheat the spinach mixture.

Drain the pasta and return to the pan, add the spinach mixture and toss well. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese before serving.

The result? A tasty dish that the kids will eat, which is also great for pregnancy nutrition.

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