This weekend I visited the Italian Supermarket on Louis Botha for the first time, it was amazing! I was in pasta heaven. There were so many different shapes and sizes to choose from, that it took me ages to find a pasta that attracted my attention. Initially, I wanted to buy durum wheat flour to make my own pasta but they didn’t have any, so I decided to try the wackiest looking one.
I ended up choosing Lumaconi. It is a large snail-shell looking pasta, usually used for stuffing. This is what they look like. However, I was dying for a simple arrabiata with some delicious crispy bacon.
1 packet (500 g) Lumaconi pasta
1 large red onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bay leaf
1 packet of smoked streaky bacon, chopped (optional)
2 tins plum tomatoes
1 sachet tomato puree
1 tsp sugar
250 ml chicken stock
100 ml white wine
1 large handful basil
2 bird’s-eye chilies, chopped
Pecorino cheese, shaved
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Fill and boil the kettle.
In a food processor with the blade attachment, chop the red onion and garlic. Place a heavy based pan on high-heat and add a generous lug of olive oil. Once the oil has warmed up, add the onion and garlic and fry for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Once the onions have softened, add the tomato puree and sugar and fry for 2 minutes, or until sediment starts sticking to the pan. deglaze with the wine and boil for 1 minute, then add the boiling stock and boil for a further 3 minutes.
Wash all the basil and put some of the small leaves aside for garnish. Then pour both tins of tomato and the big basil leaves into the food processor and blitz for 30 seconds. Add to the pan with the bay leaf and simmer for 20 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
Place a large pot on high-heat for the pasta, once the water starts boiling add a large pinch of salt and boil for 20-25 minutes or until al dente.
While the pasta and sauce are cooking, fry the bacon until crispy, but not burnt. Then add to the sauce.
Taste the sauce and adjust the flavour if necessary. Then pour the sauce over the pasta, garnish with fresh basil and shaved Pecorino and serve immediately.