Penne Rigate with Pancetta and Spinach Olive Sauce
This is a very versatile recipe as it can be used as a starter for a dinner party or main meal for a very hungry family. Having a few boxes of Barilla Spaghettoni in the store cupboard will make dinner preparations much quicker and teamed up this easy sauce make a delicious meal.
1 tbsp Irish rapeseed oil
200g smoked Irish bacon, diced
1 leek, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 tsp chopped oregano
200ml Barilla Olive Sauce
4 tbsp vegetable stock
100g baby spinach, washed and trimmed
350g Barilla Penne Rigate
100g St Tola’s goat’s cheese
Oregano sprigs, to garnish
Cook the Barilla Penne Rigate according to the instructions on the package (11 minutes).
Meanwhile, heat the rapeseed oil in a large saucepan over a medium to high heat. Add the diced bacon and fry until crispy. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to some paper kitchen towel to drain and set aside. Turn down the heat, add the sliced leeks and sauté for about 5 minutes until softened but not brown and add the garlic, and oregano and cook gently for 1 minute. Return the bacon to the saucepan.
Pour in the Barilla Olive Sauce, cream and vegetable stock, stir well and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
Stir in the spinach and wilt. Check the seasoning, you may only need to add a little freshly ground black pepper.
Tip: Use Irish smoked salmon instead of the pancetta and add chopped asparagus to the sauce for a really tasty main course.
Warm Roasted Pepper, Aubergine and Pancetta Fusilli Salad
Create a warm healthy, colourful platter that is bursting with flavour and goodness. Everything can be prepared ahead of time and just assembled when you are ready to serve.
300g Barilla Fusilli
For the roasted vegetables
1 aubergine, diced
1 red pepper, roughly sliced
1 yellow pepper, roughly sliced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tsp chopped rosemary
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
200g diced pancetta
100g rocket or mixed salad leaves
10 pitted black olives
100g Cashel Blue cheese, crumbled, to garnish
6 or 7 Borage flowers (optional)
For the lemon dressing
1 lemon, zest and juice
8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp mustard
2 tbsp grated parmesan
1 tsp chopped chives
1 tsp honey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Place the diced aubergine, peppers, garlic and rosemary into a large roasting pan. Drizzle with the olive oil and roast for 20 to 25 minutes until crisp and tender.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp olive in a medium size frying pan over a medium to high heat and add the diced pancetta and fry until crispy. Remove from the frying pan and set aside on kitchen paper to drain.
Cook the Barilla Fusilli according to the instruction on the packaging – 11 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.
Prepare the lemon dressing by adding all the ingredients into a small bowl and whisk well. Set aside.
To assemble the salad, spoon the warm pasta into a bowl, spoon the roasted vegetables and their juices into the pasta, check the seasoning. Drizzle the dressing over and toss well.
Arrange the rocket leaves and borage flowers on a serving platter and spoon the warm pasta over onto a platter. Sprinkle over the olives and pancetta, serving immediately.
Tip: I often add sauted radish halves to my salads for a fabulous peppery flavour as well as flaked poached Irish salmon which blends so well with all shapes of pasta.