To answer what is probably your first question, it’s a type of pasta, and yes, you can use penne instead. Festoni might be a more exciting ingredient to throw into the mix, but it’s not the easiest type of pasta to find so you can stick with the trusty tube if needs be.
Your second question might well involve some combination of the words “parmesan”, “bacon” and “healthy” in a questioning tone. And sure, this isn’t the healthiest recipe on Coach (there’s white wine in it, too, and let’s face it, you’re not letting the rest of the bottle go to waste are you?), but we’re very much of the view that cooking for yourself with whole foods is an easy route to improving your diet, which is why we thought this recipe from Waitrose was worth sharing. Plus, we’re not saying you should eat bacon and cheese for every breakfast, lunch and dinner. In fact, we’ll actively say not to do that. Don’t do that.
Anyway, this dish also has broccoli in it, so there you go. The recipe below calls for purple-sprouting broccoli spears, but if they’re not available you can use tenderstem instead.
Preparing the ingredients should take around ten minutes and cooking only 15, meaning that this recipe is a great quick meal you can pull together in the evening on work nights when time is tight. That’s as long as you haven’t spent an hour in the local shop trying to find festoni pasta.
Ingredients (serves four)
- 400g festoni (or penne) pasta, dried
- 2 x 200g packs purple sprouting broccoli spears
- 2tsp olive oil
- 250g maple-cured smoked back bacon, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 150ml dry white wine
- 50g freshly grated parmesan
- Cook the pasta according to pack instructions. Meanwhile, trim the thick ends from the broccoli and cut the stems into 1cm lengths, leaving the florets whole. You should have about 300g, including some of the broccoli leaves. Add to the pasta water for the final two to three minutes then drain, reserving about 4tbsp of the cooking water. Return the pasta and broccoli to the pan, covering to keep warm.
- Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the bacon for four to five minutes until crispy. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Pour in the wine and let it bubble, scraping up any bits from the base of the pan, until the wine is reduced by half.
- Add the broccoli, pasta and reserved water to the pan. Mix together, then add most of the parmesan, stirring until all the ingredients are coated.
- Serve immediately with freshly ground black pepper and the remaining cheese.
Recipe and image courtesy of waitrose.com