Quick and dirty bacon pasta

Having been on the road since last October, I’m just getting back into the swing of cooking in a real kitchen again (preparing food whilst backpacking is a bit of a different experience). Being in my own kitchen again has been an absolute dream, and over the past couple of weeks, I’ve made my signature egg curry, a variation on Persiana’s pistachio and feta dip, fried okra, hummus, and various salads.

But then, the difference in lifestyle caught up with me, and I fell ill – coughing, sneezing, blowing my nose, and left with barely enough energy to go food shopping. I needed some good, old-fashioned comfort food, and so I threw together what I’m going to call ‘quick and dirty bacon pasta’. The whole thing took less than ten minutes, which was perfect, because I absolutely did not have the energy to stand for any longer than that. And whilst I’m as big a fan of clean and healthy eating as the next person, sometimes you just need something dirty… and this dish has bacon, cheese, and carbs for that very reason (plus some novelty greens).

Using fresh egg pasta made the process a whole lot quicker, and also tastier. Roughly chopping the spinach leaves meant they didn’t all get in a twist – not good with panties, not good with spinach. Make sure you get the good bacon, as the cheap stuff just leaks white fat and gets chewy far too quickly. You can add fresh parsley or basil on top if you like, but this was just too much work for me. This dish put a smile on my face after having spent most of the past two days coughing!

Serves one ill person comfort eating, or two healthy people

  • 200-250g fresh egg pasta (I used tagliatelle)
  • 6 or more rashers of good quality bacon
  • 75g baby spinach leaves (use more if you like)
  • 100g creme fraiche
  • 50g cream cheese
  • Generous handfuls of grated mozzarella (as much as you like to make it gorgeously gooey)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Creole salt, to garnish

Put a saucepan of salted water on to boil. Using your kitchen scissors, roughly chop the bacon straight into a heated frying pan (no oil), and let it sizzle until slightly browned and deliciously fragrant. Your water will probably be boiled by now, so add in the egg pasta and set your timer to what’s written on the packet.

Roughly chop your spinach leaves and add them to the bacon pan, stirring for about a minute before scooping in your creme fraiche and cream cheese. Grind some black pepper on top.

Ding! The pasta is done. Drain it, and mix with the bacon, combining thoroughly before adding in the mozzarella. Give it a stir, and serve up immediately. Garnish with Creole salt and make sure you add a side of Netflix (I recently discovered that every season of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is on there, so I’m working my way through)!