PastaAlison Lambert


PastaAlison Lambert
Pasta is one of those meals where you should be able to feel confidant to play around a bit.  Like most children (and adults for that matter) love a bowl of pasta.  I often come home from some activity with my children and we quickly cook up a pot of pasta, add butter or olive oil, seasoning and plenty of grated parmesan or pecorino a quick stir and serve.  It is a great dish for lunch i find it easier than making a sandwich!

I always start with checking out what type of pasta i have on hand, in this case i had some dry spaghetti.  In the fridge i had some broccoli, pork and fennel sausages, a little chorizo and marinated olives which combined correctly will make a fantastically simple and quick dinner.


serves 4-5

1 packet dried spaghetti
1 head broccoli, cut into small florets
large handful good quality olives, pitted
2 cloves garlic, bruised
100g bacon ends, cut into lardons (small chunks)
olive oil for cooking
extra virgin olive oil - to finish
freshly grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To begin fill a large pot 2/3 full with heavily salted water.  Bring to a rolling boil.
Meanwhile heat a large frypan to medium- hot, add a generous glugof oil add the bacon lardons.  Add the meat from the pork and fennel sausages by squeezing out little amounts of meat from the skin directly into the pan with the bacon.  Cook until golden and crispy (about 5 minutes) add the bruised garlic, and olives continue cooking gently.

Add the prepared broccoli to pot of boiling water and cook for 1 minute remove immediately (retaining water) and add the broccoli to the fry pan with the bacon and sausage. Cook gently.

Add the spaghetti to the pot of boiling water and cook as directed on the packet.

 *My only advice when cooking pasta is to make sure the water is constantly on a rolling boil, plenty of salt in the water and do not over cook the pasta, really try to get into eating your pasta al dente as it will make the difference between eating a good plate of pasta compared to a mushy one!

*My most important tip would be to always reserve a little cooking liquor from the pasta pot as it really is the secret ingredient to many a great pasta dish.

When your pasta is cooked drain the pasta and reserve about one cup of the cooking liquor. Add the pasta to the fry pan with the sausage and bacon mixture.  Season well with salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper.  Toss carefully to combine well.  Add a little of the cooking liquor, drizzle over some extra virgin olive oil, grate over a generous amount (good handful) of parmesan or pecorino cheese. Toss carefully to combine, taste, adjust if necessary and fix the consistency of the sauce (it should be glossy, and coating every strand of pasta). 

Serve immediately with plenty of freshly grated cheese, a bit more ground pepper and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil if desired.