“People just adore pasta. It’s a simple fact.”
~ Marc Vetri
I’ve had a girlfriend staying with me for a few days. And for those few days it has been cold here at the farm. Both of us have been unwell, so our days have been napping, reading books in front of the fire, writing, doctor visits and more naps.
One night we were both exhausted and Ben had gone back to the city for the evening to check on his elderly mum, leaving us to our own devices. Suddenly it was dinner time and we were starving but exhausted – a difficult combo when you don’t have much energy but still want something a bit more elaborate than egg and toast.
In the cupboard I had some egg fettucine noodles – the lovely tri-colour ones that cook in six minutes.
In the fridge I had some locally raised and cured free-range streaky bacon rashers and vegetables.
We put it all together and in less than ten minutes we were eating the most delicious bowl of pasta with a little grated parmesan on top. Bellissimo!
How to make this dish fit your special eating requirements:
- If you’re vegan swap out the bacon, butter and cheese, use vegan substitutes, or use a little tempeh for the bacon-y taste.
- Vegetarians omit the bacon and add extra mushrooms
- Use gluten-free pasta if you need to
- Low-carb diet? Use a high protein pasta or substitute spiralised zucchini
- Cow’s milk free? Use a little goat or sheep’s milk cheese on top – feta is awesome!
Ingredients (this fed two people REALLY well)
- Egg fettucine (if you use another kind of pasta adjust your cooking time)
- salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- Olive oil
- 4 rashers streaky bacon cut into ribbons
- 1 cup of sliced mushrooms
- 1 generous teaspoon of crushed garlic (fresh or jar)
- 1/2 red onion roughly diced
- 1 cup chopped broccoli
- 1 large tomato, diced
- 2 large handfuls of green spinach
- Put a large pot of water on to boil and add salt to the pot. I use a heaped teaspoon.
- Place a large frypan on low heat and add a slug of olive oil. Chuck the bacon in and then increase heat to medium. Fry for a minute or two until soft, fragrant and a little browned.
- Your water should be boiling now so chuck the pasta in and give it a poke with a wooden spoon to make sure it all becomes submerged. Bring it back to the boil and cook according to instructions on your packet.
- Add your sliced mushrooms to the pan along with the tablespoon of butter. Fry for a minute and then add the onions and garlic. Continue to stir. If it gets dry add a splash of water to moisten things up again. Season with a grind of pepper and a little salt.
- Now add the tomato and cook that down. It should be smelling fantastic by now. Add another splash of water if needed.
- When the pasta is a minute or two off done thrown your chopped broccoli in the pot too.
- A minute to go – add your big handfuls of spinach leaves to the frypan and wilt them down.
- Drain your pasta and broccoli and then add into the frypan if it’s big enough. If not add back to the pot and dump your frypan contents in on the top. Stir to combine.
- Place pasta and sauce into bowls, add a little grated parmesan and enjoy your easy, yummy meal!