Stuck for something tasty for tea? Try this delicious pasta dish, featuring everyday ingredients that can be simply shopped for.
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
½ tsp chilli flakes (more, or less, depending on how hot you like it)
8 rashers of smoked streaky bacon, sliced
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
½ tsp sugar
2 tsp dried oregano
500g pasta spirals, or other shapes
Lemon juice, to taste
A little extra-virgin olive oil
Grated parmesan cheese, to serve
1) Place a saucepan or frying pan (for which you have a lid) on a medium-low heat. Add the oil, garlic, chilli flakes and bacon and cook, stirring, for 3-5 minutes, until the bacon has rendered most of its fat but the garlic hasn’t taken on any colour. Add the tomato purée to the pan, stir to incorporate, and cook for 1 minute. Tip in the tin of tomatoes, along with half a tin of water. Add the sugar and oregano, season with salt and pepper, and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down, put the lid loosely on the pan, and simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the sauce sticking.
2) Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions in salted, boiling water. When it’s nearly done, carefully dip in a mug to collect a cupful of the starchy cooking water, then drain the pasta, return it to the pan (o the heat), and toss with a little extra-virgin olive oil.
3) Taste the sauce. If it’s too sweet, add a little lemon juice; if it’s not sweet enough, add a little sugar, a pinch at a time. When you’re happy with it, tip the sauce into the pasta pan. Mix to combine, adding a little of the reserved pasta water if you need to loosen up the sauce, along with another slug of extra virgin olive oil, if you wish.
4) Divide the pasta between 4 serving bowls and serve alongside grated parmesan for people to help themselves.