Bacon, Tomato and Walnut PastaServes: 4
Ingredients:350g (12 oz) penne pasta (or pasta spirals)
8 plum tomatoes, halved
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp light muscovado sugar
50g (2 oz) butter
110g (4 oz) smoked bacon bits
50g (2 oz) walnuts, coarsely chopped
50g (2 oz) fresh white breadcrumbs
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
2 tbsp basil leaves, chopped
salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
Method:Bring a pan of salted water to a boil. add the pasta and cook for between 10 and 12 minutes, or as directed on the packet. Drain in a colander.
In the meantime, place the tomato halves on a grill pan with the cut side uppermost. Brush with 2 tbsp olive oil then sprinkle over the sugar and season with salt and black pepper. Place under a hot grill (broiler) and cook for about 6 minutes or until the tomatoes begin to char. Remover from under the grill and set aside to keep warm until the pasta is cooked.
Heat half the butter in a frying pan and add the bacon pieces. Cook over medium heat for about 6 minutes, until they begin to crisp then remove from the pan.
Add the remaining butter to the pan and tip in the walnuts, breadcrumbs and garlic. Cook over medium heat until the breadcrumbs turn a golden brown. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the basil and bacon pieces then season to taste with salt (if needed) and black pepper.
Pour the remaining oil over the pasta and stir in the bacon, tomato halves and the walnut mixture.