Monday, 13 April 2020

courgette and bacon pasta

Well, we are a nation in a very different place than the last time I blogged.

Covid-19, lockdown, social distancing, queues for entering supermarkets, supply shortages. No pasta, no toilet paper, no flour, no eggs, no ketchup, no tinned tomatoes... Strict limits on purchases of the above if you CAN find them, as well as on hand-wash and hand sanitiser.

I'm lucky that I've always been a bit of a hoarder, and I like to buy in bulk anyway, and also I'm lucky enough to have a fantastically well-stocked local corner shop - so I can get a lot of basics practically on my doorstep when I need them.  Including pasta!

This dish was quick and simple, and veg packed and frugal.  Everyone enjoyed it, including Papa who is usually very mistrustful of courgettes.

I used:

2 courgettes
1 medium onion
125g bacon
one teaspoon of butter
half a teaspoon of salt
half a teaspoon of coarsely ground black pepper
one teaspoon Marigold powder
splash of white wine if you have it, otherwise just splash in some water
50-75g plain cream cheese

400g pasta 
grated cheese to serve


First I chopped up about half a pack of unsmoked back bacon from the corner shop and dry-fried it until golden.  This is the point that Papa filled a large pan with water and put it on to boil for the pasta.  We used 400g of mixed fusilli - half wholewheat and half tricolori, basically because wholewheat is a bit more filling so goes further and the tricolori is interesting and also its what I found in big bags in Sainsbury's a few weeks ago.

Next I topped and tailed and halved and quartered 2 courgettes lengthways and then sliced the quarters up thinly.  They weren't at their best, but this didn't really matter.  I then halved the onion and sliced one half very thinly and chopped the other half finely.

Once the bacon was nicely golden, I removed it from the pan with a slotted spoon, and tipped in the courgettes.  I left it to brown slightly and soften, and then added the onion and the butter and sprinkled in the salt.  I turned the heat down slightly and left it to soften.

Meanwhile, at some point the water came to the boil, and so Papa put the pasta on to cook around when I was taking the bacon out.  Papa asked me if the sauce would take as long as the pasta, and I wasn't sure, but both were done around the same time in the end!

Once the veggies were nice and soft, I added the Marigold powder and the splash of wine.  Honestly, water would be fine, or cider, or dry sherry if you happen to have it!

Once the pasta was cooked, I put the bacon back into the pan with the courgettes and also a ladleful of the pasta water.  Finally, I stirred the cream cheese into the courgettes and bacon.

Tiny had at least 2 helpings, not-so Littl'Un loved it, not-really BigUn enjoyed it too and added it to her plan of things to cook at Uni....



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