We have had masses of building work done over the summer, hence my silence on these pages. Â Some days I had a kitchen to use, other days not so much. Â Once the Aga was decommissioned I moved onto a two ring gas hob (no oven) and once that was a goner it was braais or picnics. Â There have certainly been some stressful moments and I have deposited more money in the swear box than I care to think about. Â My poor husband and children have had to put up with a lot of unusual suppers from a rather mad-eyed cook but it was worth it and we now have a fabulous new kitchen.
The thing about being put on the spot kit wise is that it really focuses the mind. Â If all the gadgetry has been boxed up (or just covered in dust) and there is only a pan to hand then one must make do. Â One such recipe that came into play was this pasta with bacon, garlic, chilli and parsley. Â Comprising of store cupboard and garden ingredients this can be reliably whipped up with the minimum of equipment, time or energy. Â On one occasion I also added a pile of halved cherry tomatoes because I had some that needed using up. Â It is certainly just as good without and I wouldn’t use tasteless winter (or jetset) tomatoes for the sake of it.
I highly recommend making this whether you are enjoying building works or not – it is cheap, very cheerful and everyone, particularly the children love it – what could be better (apart from a new kitchen).
Pasta with bacon, garlic, chilli and parsley
As with many of my recipes this is open to interpretation – if you adore bacon then add more; Â if your children can’t bear chilli then leave it out. Â The parsley is very much an ingredient here rather than merely a garnish but if the green stuff horrifies your little ones……
6 good fat rashers of smoked streaky bacon
2 large cloves of garlic
1/4 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1/2 bunch parsley
300g pasta of your choice
Get your pasta cooking in a large pan of generously salted water. Â Put a tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan and snip (I find scissors easiest here) the bacon into it. Â Cook until just turning crispy then add the garlic and chilli, stir it around over a gentle heat ensuring the garlic doesn’t brown. Â When the pasta is done, drain it retaining a little of the cooking water. Â Tumble the pasta into the frying pan and mix well with the bacon, garlic and chilli adding a splash or two of cooking water to keep the whole thing quite slippery. Â Chop the parsley over the top, season well and serve with parmesan if you like. Â This amount is enough for two adults and two children.