Tomato & Bacon Pasta

Tomato & Bacon Pasta
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1tsp oil
4 rashers of bacon, sliced
1 onion, diced
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp chopped rosemary
2 tsp mixed herbs
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 red pepper, chopped
1 stick of celery finely chopped
1 carrot finely chopped
1 tsp tomato paste
1 or 2* tins of chopped tomatoes 400g
1 tbsp sliced olives or a handful of whole olives
100g grated cheese

Pasta (any type) 75g per person (however hungry you are serve more or less pasta)

*(2 tins makes lots of yummy sauce, but 1 tin will stretch to serve 4)

Method:

1. Heat oil, over a medium heat, in a large frying pan. Add chopped bacon, onion, herbs, fennel seeds, ground pepper (as much as you like) and last the garlic (as it can burn); stir.
2. Brown the ingredients , add all of the chopped vegetables, continue to cook for approximately another 2/3 minutes.
3. Add the tomato puree, tinned tomatoes and olives; stir.
4. Reduce the heat under the sauce to your lowest setting and pop on a lid (use a plate if your frying pan does not have a lid). Cook for approx 10 mins.
5. Put pasta on to cook.
6. Simmer sauce until the pasta is ready, but do check on it and add a little liquid if it is reducing more than you would like.
7. Pour cooked pasta and grated cheese into the frying pan and stir.

Serving Suggestion:

Watercress and rocket salad.

5 A Day Addition:

Add green beans or a bag of spinach into the sauce at stage 3.

Extra Information to Cook this Pasta All the Time and Keep it Interesting

– Chorizo instead of bacon is a tasty alternative and not too expensive if you shop around and slice it thin.
– Try adding mozzarella or ricotta cheese, or maybe cream/crème fraiche instead of grated cheese.
– Use a glass of red wine at stage 3 for extra flavour – I never start a new bottle of wine for cooking (unless cooking for guests) so I use any wine left in an old bottle or it is possible to freeze left over wine in a freezer bag.
– Fresh herbs added both at the start of cooking and just before serving give extra taste. I like to use chopped rosemary, thyme and basil. I’m lucky to be able to grow these myself which means I don’t have to spend any extra cash.
– A spoonful of any chutney, especially tomato based, that you have in the fridge/cupboard is good when added at stage 3.

NB – This is my Mum’s own recipe, she’s cooked this since I was at school and still does. She cooks it from memory, since she invented it herself, and here I try to do it justice by recording it for her. It never fails to be packed full of flavour and, just like her, we love it.

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