Occasional recipes: Spicy bacon and pepper pasta

This comes to you courtesy of Ready Steady Cook and is what we had on Christmas Eve. The original plan was to have a suitably Scandinavian ham-based Yule feast, until we saw the price of ham. Bacon is equally pig-derived and a lot cheaper.

The original recipe is for 1, so scale up according to the number of diners. Lifted verbatim from the BBC:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 rashers streaky bacon, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • ¼ leek, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • pinch chilli flakes
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 150g fresh pasta, cooked according to packet instructions (We went for tagliatelle.)
  • handful basil, chopped
Fry the bacon in the oil. (Opinion varies in our household over this, one member maintaining that when you fry bacon its own fat is all the oil you need. The other, i.e. me and the one doing the cooking, maintains that a bit of olive oil will liven anything. So anyway.)
Add everything else and cook for a few minutes, then stir in the cooked pasta and basil and serve. Simple! The red pepper makes the whole thing exactly moist enough, and the colours – red pepper, green basil, white pasta – make the whole thing look good and Christmassy. This was an unintended effect but still a good one.