#101pastas 004: Spinaci e pancetta (or szpinak i boczek?)

Shopping local is now often an easier option than queuing to get into the supermarkets. This also means trying things you wouldn’t normally buy. Yesterday I picked up a slab of Polish roasted bacon or boczek pieczony as it is apparently called. I knocked up the dish above for a quick early lunch today.

Serves 1
Olive oil extra virgin if possible
Cubed bacon handful, about 8mm dice or shop bought cubetti di pancetta
Garlic 1-2 cloves
Dried chilli flakes to taste
Spinach handful
Parmesan or other hard cheese
Cooking water 1 ladle from the pasta
Croutons (optional)

Place a large saucepan of salted water on to boil.

Add a generous slug of olive oil to a separate pan and fry the bacon cubes until browned.

Crush or finely chop the garlic and add to the bacon along with the chilli flakes. I’d probably say generally about half a teaspoon of chilli per person but feel free to increase or decrease as you like. Fry for a couple of minutes and then remove from heat. Add the parmesan and spinach.

Once the other pan of water is boiling, throw in the pasta. Instructions as to how to cook pasta properly can be found here.

When the pasta is nearly done, scoop a ladle of cooking water out and add to the bacon and spinach, putting it back on the heat to wilt the spinach and melt the cheese.

Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce, stirring thoroughly to ensure it’s evenly coated.

Throw in some croutons if you fancy a bit of crunch. Serve with more parmesan, lots of cracked black pepper and a sprinkle of parsley if you have it.

Categories101 Pastas