You will always find a simple tomato pasta dish on our mid week menu. Quick, easy and relatively cost effective. Not to mention that pasta is one thing I know the kids will eat with great gusto, rather than finding their meals strategically launched across the room (our cooking isn’t that bad, seriously). I do think that either spaghetti or linguine compliment this sauce perfectly, but I opted for fusilli tonight (easier for little hands to grab).
This is one of the best in my opinion. I’m also of the view that if you add a bit of bacon to a dish, it automatically transforms it into a ‘luxury’ meal. It’s that magic ingredient that guarantees eating pleasure!
It’s handy if you don’t have a lot in the cupboard…as long as you usually keep a good store of pasta in the house, you won’t need to purchase a lot else: a packet of back bacon (go for smoked if possible for maximum flavour), an onion, two cloves of garlic, a tin of chopped tomatoes, 1.5 teaspoons of dried oregano and a good pinch of seasoning. The traditional recipes also include a pinch of chilli flakes/a dried chilli, but I opted for the heat-free child friendly alternative. Do add it in if it takes your fancy, as it’s equally delicious.
Chop the onion and garlic, then slice the bacon into inch size squares. Something a little like this:
Gently fry off the onion and garlic in a little olive oil for approximately 3 minutes (plus the chilli if you are incorporating any into the dish) and then add the bacon. Cook for around 10 minutes on a medium heat, or until the bacon starts to brown and crisp up (the longer you can cook it, the more flavour it will release). Proceed to add the tomatoes, oregano and seasoning to taste (I find you don’t really need much more than a small pinch of salt as the bacon brings its own saltiness) and simmer for 15 minutes on a low heat until reduced to a thick sauce.
Meanwhile bring a pan of salted water to the boil and add your choice of pasta, cooking for the required time. If the sauce gets a little too heavy, add a tablespoon or two of the pasta water.
Add the pasta to the sauce and mix well (I usually add another pinch of black pepper at this point). Serve with freshly grated vintage matured cheddar.
Simple but tasty. There is always room for a second helping around our dinner table.