BACON WITH RED PEPPER PESTO PASTA (serves 3)
1 tbsp olive oil
350g smoked back bacon, trimmed of fat and diced
1 large onion, diced finely
1 clove garlic, chopped finely
2 sticks of celery, diced finely
half a tsp dried oregano
200g quartered mushrooms
190g jar red pepper & ricotta pesto
1 tbsp sour cream
250g dried pasta shapes - tubes are good.
Heat the olive oil in a large deep sided frying pan and add the bacon. Fry over a high heat until all the moisture has evaporated and the bacon is cooked through.
Reduce the heat to moderate and add the onion, garlic and celery, along with a pinch of black pepper and the oregano. Fry until the onion is transparent and the celery is beginning to soften.
Add the mushrooms and continue to fry until they are beginning to soften.
Three quarters fill a large saucepan with water and add a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil and once boiling, add the dried pasta. Remember to give the pasta a stir every so often to ensure it's not sticking to the bottom of the pan. Cook for 10-12 minutes, or to manufacturer's instructions.
Add the contents of the pesto jar to the bacon mix, along with 100ml of water (you can use it to rinse out the pesto jar, so as to get every last little bit!) and stir to combine.
Once the ingredients are looking mixed, stir in the sour cream. Simmer on a very low heat until the pasta is ready. You may need to add a little more water from time to time to keep the mixture saucy.
Once the pasta is cooked, drain it well and return it to the hot saucepan. Take the bacon mixture and decant it on top of the pasta and stir gently, but thoroughly, through.
Serve in warmed bowls with some garlic bread to accompany.