Pancetta, tomato and chilli pasta

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You can get this meal on the table in under 30 minutes. It is very spicy so hold back on the chilli if you like it milder.

Serves 4 with leftover sauce


6 slices of pancetta (you can also use bacon)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-2 red chillies or ½ teaspoon of dried chillies
1 tin of good quality tomatoes
400g penne
8 fresh basil leaves
Freshly grated Parmesan
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil


1. Fry the pancetta in a tablespoon of olive oil over a medium heat in a frying pan until golden.

2. Finely chop the chilli and add to the pancetta. Fry for 2 minutes.

3. Pour the tomatoes and juice into the saucepan, mashing the tomatoes with a fork. Cook the sauce for 20-25 minutes until the oil rises to the top.  Stir the sauce from time to time to make sure it doesn’t burn. It will get thicker the longer it cooks.

4. While the sauce is cooking, boil a litre of water with a large pinch of salt in a large saucepan. Cook the penne for 8-10 minutes or until al dente. Toss the hot drained pasta with the pancetta sauce in the frying pan and cook for another minute or two. Serve in bowls topped with basil leaves and freshly grated Parmesan.

Recipe Note
The finished sauce can be held in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat and stir into cooked al dente pasta. It also freezes well.


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