I’ve been making this pasta recipe for as long as I can remember and it uses some of my favourite ingredients, chopped tinned tomatoes and cubetti di pancetta.
Chopped tinned tomatoes are fantastic, aren’t they? When I have a tin in my cupboard I know we won’t go hungry. I can rustle up an easy pasta sauce or pizza topping with a handy tin of toms. I usually buy in bulk the branded Italian ones when they are on offer in Sainsbury’s so it makes things a little more affordable.
Cubetti di pancetta is a great fridge standby product with a typically long shelf life. I tend to use it a lot for this recipe but also in chicken pies and my absolute favourite Nigella recipe Pasta Risotto with pancetta and peas (I hope to blog about this another time).
Pancetta & Courgette Pasta (serves 4 children or 2 adults)
400g chopped tinned tomatoes
160g cubetti di pancetta (with herbs if possible or just add 1/2 teaspoon of mixed herbs to the pancetta)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
200g whole wheat penne pasta
Parmesan or cheddar cheese for grating on top
1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan or a deep frying pan with a lid.
2. Meanwhile, chop the courgette into quarter slices then add to the oil and cook until soft and starting to char.
3. Add the pancetta and sauté until starting to crisp. If your pancetta doesn’t come with herbs add 1/2 teaspoon of mixed herbs at this stage to the pan.
4. Add the tinned tomatoes and a good grinding of black pepper, bring to the boil and then simmer with the lid on partially for about 20 minutes so you have a thick sauce.
5. While the sauce is cooking cook the pasta in a pan of salted boiling water until it is al dente.
6. When the pasta is cooked scoop out half a cup of the cooking water, then drain and add the pasta to the pan of sauce and stir through on the heat for about 30 seconds. Add a bit of the cooking water to the pan to help the sauce become silky over the pasta.
7. Serve the pasta with a grating of parmesan or cheddar cheese on top.