4th of July Pesto Pasta

½ lb pancetta cut into small cubes

1 cup packed baby spinach divided in half(remove longer tough stems)

½ c. Packed basil leaves

¼ c. Grated parmesan cheese

2 tbs white wine vinegar

¼ tsp red pepper flakes

¼ c. Olive oil

½ lb fresh mozzarella cut into bite size pieces

Salt and pepper to taste

1 lb pasta of choice. There will be enough pesto for 1 ½ – 2 lbs of pasta.

*optional garnish ¼ c. Italian sweety drop peppers(hot/spicy)

                                                     or

                      *little sweet red peppers chopped

Start and prepare pasta according to package instructions.while cooking, continue preparation of recipe following directions below. When pasta is done, before draining, save a cup of the cooking water.

While pasta is cooking, saute pancetta over medium heat til it starts to color and crisp on the edges. Set aside.

Using a food processor or blender, pulse half of the spinach, all of the basil, parmesan cheese, vinegar and pepper flakes. Once all of the ingredients have turned into a paste, slowly add olive oil with machine running.

Salt and pepper to taste. If drained pasta is still a little warm,,great!

Toss cooked pasta with several spoonfuls of pesto and remaining half of spinach. If it seems a little dry, add a couple tbs of the pasta water. Add mozzarella and toss gently. Any leftover pesto sauce can be refrigerated for later use. Garnish with optional sweety peppers.