Thursday, 28 March 2013

Vine Tomato, Chilli and Bacon Pasta

I have to say, I do like my pasta.  I am also incapable of making a tomato based sauce without putting chilli in it.  If I have none in the house (unlikely) then the tabasco comes out.  Normally I use both together to be honest.

I'm not sure why I require my tomato to pack a punch; it is a partnership thing.  You wouldn't have Laurel without Hardy, Ying without Yang or Bubble without Squeak and likewise I would never have tomato without chilli.

If you are not a chilli fan, just leave it out. I will be looking at you strangely though.

This is ridiculously quick and easy to make.  There are a million and one ways to make a basic tomato pasta sauce and I'm sure everyone has their own version; this is my go to for a fast, vitamin packed meal without opening a single tin.

5 large vine tomatoes
4 rashers streaky un-smoked bacon
1 large red chilli
1 clove garlic, crushed
Extra virgin olive oil
Tomato Puree
Dried Basil
Dried Oregano

Chop the tomatoes into small pieces and pan fry in a dry saucepan for a couple of minutes until the tomatoes start to break down.  I don't bother with peeling the tomatoes as I quite like the skin.  If this bothers you, dunk the tomatoes into a large bowl of boiling water before cutting them.  This makes the skin loose and easy to slide off.   It takes about 30 seconds or until the skin splits.
Add the bacon and crushed garlic to the tomato.  Sizzle for 2 minutes then add a good slog of olive oil.
Chop the chilli and add to the tomato mix.  Take the seeds and the membrane out if you don't like heat.  These big fat ones I don't find hot but have a lovely earthy rich flavour.
Add a good squeeze of tomato puree to the tomato sauce
Add a good shake of the dried herbs, pinch of sugar and decent amount of black pepper.  Fresh herbs are better if you have them. I don't really use measurements - just season to taste.  You shouldn't need to add extra salt as the bacon compensates for this.
When your sauce is simmering nicely, add a slosh of water and turn down to leave to simmer.  Stick your pasta onto boil.  Don't salt the water - you will see why below.
Cook according to the packet instructions.  When you drain your pasta, keep back a little of the cooking liqueur and add it to the sauce - this thickens it and makes it a little creamier.  If you have salted the water, don't bother with this stage.

Combine, serve and guzzle.  Makes enough for 2 people to have a generous lunch.  The below wasn't all for me, I promise!

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