Pasta alla luce del sole

No, that doesn’t mean pasta that is good for the soul but hopefully translates to mean ‘Pasta in the light of the sun.’  I’ve googled it and haven’t seen a recipe with this name yet so it’s mine, all mine, an original.  2012 is looking like a very exciting year for me with the publication of my recipe book ‘Gimme the Recipe‘ with Mercier Press in March and the remainder of the year is peppered with various family celebrations throughout the year the highlight of which will be my sister Eimear’s wedding in Sicily in August.  I’ve even started learning Italian.
Pasta alla luce del sole
In the meantime I have been conjuring up a taste of Italy at home and I’ve been helped along by Sacla’ who very kindly sent me a selection of their vast range of pasta sauces etc.  to try out.  I’d been eyeing the jar of Sun-dried Tomatoes for a while anticipating the release of their lusciousness and in this recipe they more than lived up to all my expectations.
With tomatoes and balsamic being a classical pairing this dish revolves around that with any zinginess being balanced out with the creamy coating of creme fraiche.
As the days begin to lengthen and brighten this dish is one of longing. It is a taste of sunshine and summer with fruity sweetness bursting in your mouth mingling with refreshing bitey courgette.  It is important not to over-cook the courgette, it gets just a minute on each side – just long enough to lightly colour it and mop up some succulent bacon juices from the pan but still retain its crunch.
This is the first time that I have ever weighed out pasta before I’ve cooked it, usually judging with my eye.  75g (the recommended portion size on the pack) X 4 being 300g looked meagre on the scales but as I wanted this dish to err on the healthy side, bulking it up with extra courgette, I denied the temptation to throw in a fistful or two more of pasta.  Rashers of bacon were modest in portion size too but enough to impart just enough fat and flavour to lean towards indulgent.  This is delicious.
Pasta with courgette, bacon, sun-dried tomatoes
Serves 4.
Pasta alla luce del Sole
You will need:

1 tbsp olive oil
6 rashers of bacon
300g pasta shells – conchigile
100g sun-dried tomatoes (I used two-thirds of a Sacla’ jar – drained weight)
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 courgettes
4 tbsp creme fraiche
1 tbsp semi sun-dried tomato pesto (I used Sacla’ Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto )
Fresh parsley to garnish
Method:
Bring a large saucepan full of boiling water to the boil for the pasta
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan
Roughly chop the rashers and put them on to cook in the frying pan over a medium to high heat
Put the pasta shells into the boiling water to boil (follow cooking time of pack, it varies depending on size)
Once the rashers have begun to brown push them to the side of the pan, roughly chop the sun-dried tomatoes and place in the centre of the frying pan.
Spoon the balsamic vinegar on top of the tomatoes and stir them around a little as they cook for a couple of minutes.
Push the tomatoes out to the side of the pan and fry thick slices of courgette for a minute on each side.
(Meanwhile drain the pasta when cooked and drizzle with a little olive oil to prevent sticking)
Pour the creme fraiche on top of the courgettes and bacon etc. and mix, cooking until heated through.
Serve bowls of pasta shells topped with the creamy bacon, tomato and courgette mixture and garnish generously with chopped parsley.
Enjoy.
Til next time, Sheila.

5 thoughts on “Pasta alla luce del sole

  1. eboutiqueathome says:

    Congrats on having a book published. The last wedding we were at in Italy we had wine on tap – it was bellisimo (or something to that effect):))

    Will be jotting down the ingredients for my weekly shop tomorrow to try it out – it sounds yummy. Not sure though I would have the same will power to not fire in some extra pasta.

  2. nessa robins says:

    I’m just after seeing the front cover of your book on the Mercier website. It looks fabulous – I’m so excited for you. The perfect cookbook for busy mums! I’m really looking forward to picking up a copy 🙂
    I love the sound of this quick pasta dish – The kids would love it!

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