I’d forgotten how good Spicy Bacon and Tomato Pasta is from the Hairy Dieters. It’s great hot or cold, so invariably I used to prep it the night before and take it into work for lunch the next day. Since I’ve been working from home for the last seven months some of my lunchtime meals have been more extravagant, but it’s good to go back to basics and save some time in the kitchen!
Check the packaging (or review the nutritional information online) to make sure your tomato and basil sauce has no more than 6g of fat per 100g – I buy the little stir-in pots from Dolmio (150g) which are a rip-off, but they taste good and some are low-fat. If you’re on a budget, use regular broccoli cut into small florets rather than tenderstem. This is a good meal to introduce kids to vege. My teenage son is too pre-occupied with the pasta, sauce and bacon to notice that I’ve included some diced yellow pepper in there ;-).
Recipe: Spicy Bacon and Tomato Pasta
Calories: 302 per portion
Book: Hairy Dieters – Eat for Life
Prep time: Approx 10 minutes
Cooking time: Approx 12 minutes
- 75g dried pasta shapes, such as penne
- 2 rashers of rindless lean smoked back bacon
- Oil, for spraying
- 1 large yellow pepper (deseeded and cut into 2.5cm chunks)
- 125g tenderstem broccoli (trimmed and cut into 2cm diagonal slices)
- 150ml cold water
- 150g tomato and basil sauce – fresh or from a jar (look for one with no more than 6g fat per 100g)
- 2 tbsp half-fat crème fraiche
- Heaped ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
- Ground black pepper
Cost per portion: Approx £2.17
Half fill a large saucepan with cold water and bring it to the boil. Add the pasta, stir well and return to the boil. Cook for 10-12 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
While the pasta is cooking, trim any visible fat off the bacon and cut the rashers into 2cm wide strips. Mist a medium non-stick frying pan with oil and fry the bacon for 1 ½ – 2 minutes over a medium-high heat until lightly browned, stirring regularly. Tip it on to a plate and return the pan to the heat.
Add the pepper and stir-fry for 2 minutes until lightly browned, then add the broccoli and stir-fry for a minute with the pepper. Pour the water into the pan and simmer the vegetables for 4 minutes, stirring regularly. Add a little extra water if it completely evaporates before the end of the cooking time.
Stir in the cooked bacon, pasta sauce, crème fraiche and chilli flakes and cook until the sauce is hot, stirring constantly. Drain the pasta in a colander then tip it back into the saucepan. Add the hot bacon sauce, toss together, then season with black pepper and serve.