Spaghetti on FIRE

This is the only thing that’s ‘on fire’ about me

Hot as a fever, rattle of bones. I could just taste it, taste it. Yooooouuuuu. Your Spaghetti is on FIRE. Ok, so I doubt Kings of Leon will be adapting the lyrics of ‘Sex on Fire’, but I did chuckle to myself while prepping Spaghetti on Fire from Justine Pattison.

This is a belter of a pasta dish, packed with good stuff (vege), and full of flavour from the smoked bacon and chilli flakes. Adding Parmesan and basil leaves is optional but I’d wholeheartedly recommend doing so to enhance the taste. This frugal recipe is right up there with my favourite pasta dishes, but numero uno for me remains Pasta Puttanesca. Which one is yours?

Recipe: Spaghetti on Fire  

Calories: 256 per serving

Serves: 4

Book: Justine Pattison: Without the Calories – quick and easy

Prep time: Approx 15 mins

Cooking time: Approx 20 mins


  • 4 rashers of smoked back bacon (about 125g)
  • Oil for spraying or brushing
  • 1 medium onion (thinly sliced)
  • 2 mixed colour peppers (deseeded and cut into roughly 2cm chunks)
  • 2 medium courgettes (cut into roughly 2cm chunks)
  • 2 garlic cloves (thinly sliced)
  • 1-2 tsp chilli flakes (depending on taste)
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes with herbs
  • 175g dried spaghetti
  • Ground black pepper
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Fresh torn basil leaves to garnish (optional)

Cost per portion: Approx £1.03

Method: Trim all visible fat off the bacon with a good pair of kitchen scissors. Cut the bacon into roughly 2cm strips. Spray or brush a large non-stick saute pan or deep frying pan with oil and fry the bacon over a medium heat for 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Tip onto a plate and set aside.

Spray or brush the pan with a little more oil and cook the onion for 2 minutes or until beginning to soften, stirring regularly. Add the peppers and courgettes and cook over a medium-high heat for 5 minutes until lightly browned.

Add the garlic and chilli flakes and cook for a few seconds more, while stirring. Tip the tomatoes into the pan, return the bacon and bring to a gentle simmer over a low heat. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring regularly.

While the sauce is cooking, half fill a large pan with water and bring to the boil. Add the pasta and return to the boil. Cook for 10-12 minutes until just tender, stirring occasionally.

Drain the pasta in a colander and return to the pan. Stir in the tomato sauce and toss until combined. Season with ground black pepper. Divide between warm bowls and sprinkle with grated Parmesan, if using, and fresh basil leaves if you like. Serve with a salad.


3 thoughts on “Spaghetti on FIRE

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s