25 November 2008
Thanks for joining in the dinner conversation- it's interesting to hear about how everyone else organises (tries to organise?) themselves and their family's evening meals. Nice to know I'm not the only nerdy menu writer. I have to say again it has totally transformed my daily dinner experience.
Tonight's dinner was Bacon Broccoli Pasta. It's been in high rotation recently, with a few variations. It's a bit of a bastardised version of Broccoli con Orecchiette (this sounds like a more traditional version). Here's the recipe (just for you Al)
Serves: 2 adults plus a couple of small toddler serves (or and adult lunch)
Time: about 20 minutes
1 head broccoli
250g farfalle pasta
2 rashers bacon (ideally Otway Free Range- I won't link to them because they have auto music on the website and it gave me a good fright)
1 clove garlic
8 or so Kalamata olives
Parmesan (to serve)
Put the pasta water on to boil.
While it's coming to the boil, pit and chop the olives and finely chop the garlic. Toss into a large frying pan with a few good lugs of olive oil and warm to a gentle sizzle over a low heat for a few minutes. The aim here is to bring all the flavours out of the garlic and olives without browning them.
Finely chop the bacon and add it to the pan about the same time that you toss the pasta into the boiling water. Keep the pan on a fairly low heat- a nice gentle sizzle.
Chop the broccoli up into small florets (if I have an organic one, I also peel and finely dice the stalk) and when the bacon looks like it's cooked a bit, add the broccoli to the pan and give it a good stir through. You can add a bit of water and cover the pan while the broccoli cooks- about 5 minutes, or until the pasta is done.
Drain pasta, mix in with the bacon and broccoli and a final splash of olive oil to finish.
Serve with freshly grated parmesan.
Variations: (because when you make it every other week you really want some variation)
- substitute sliced Chorizo sausage for the bacon. Personally my favorite variation, but not so good for toddler meals with the spicy sausage. If I'm doing this one, I put the sausage into the pan first and don't use any olive oil.
- add some chilli and a couple of anchovies instead of the bacon for something a bit more authentic
- add some peas or baby spinach
- add some chopped fresh tomato
- finish it off with a dollop of pesto