On my birthday last month, I drove purposefully to Sabato. One has to be strong (as I learned) to shop there with self-control! On this particular day, full from brunch with friends, I thought I might manage …
When I got there I was greeted with a smiling face, pleasantly-stocked shelves, a table with various oils and vinegars to taste. I took my time, dipping cubes of bread into oils and vinegars, gazing at cheese and chocolate. It was difficult to maintain my resolve to pick up just dinner ingredients and a treat or two. In the end, I left a little guiltily with a brown paper bag filled to the brim with goodies.
After all of that, I didn’t enjoy our dinner that night that much, though J complimented me very kindly on it.
But this dish, made a few nights later with one citrusy Sabato purchase, won both of us over.
- Bacon, tomato & mandarino spirals
Fresh heirloom tomatoes – halved
Garlic cloves, minced (we used 3 for 2 of us)
Shoulder bacon, roughly diced (we used 100g)
Sundried tomatoes, chopped
Handful mushrooms, sliced
Ormond Rich Cream or white wine (optional)
Mandarino* oil by Marina Colonna
Bring a saucepan of water to a rolling boil. Salt it generously, then add in pasta spirals**. Ensure that the pasta is well covered with water. Cook till al dente, stirring every so often to prevent the pasta from sticking.
- While the pasta is cooking, place a skillet over moderately high heat and add in a tablespoon or two of olive oil. When the oil is warm, fry the tomato halves until they smell sweet and begin to collapse, then remove and set aside.
- Add in a little more oil if the skillet is too dry. Throw in the chilli flakes, minced garlic and sun-dried tomatoes – sauté. Once you can smell the garlic, deglaze with a splash of Ormond Rich Cream (you can also use any white wine or water) and cook for a minute or two till it evaporates. If you add in too much liquid at this point, just take some of it out with a spoon and set aside.
- Add in the bacon, fry till they turn a rich pink and brown in bits. Add in the mushrooms. Add in excess liquid from above if any – or add another splash of cooking wine / water, as well as a tablespoon of water from the pasta pot. Stir and lower the heat. Add the cooked tomatoes back in.
- When the pasta is ready, drain it, shake off excess water and stir it into the ‘sauce’.
- Now for the finishing touch*. Drizzle on the Mandarino, and serve immediately. Add freshly ground salt and pepper as you wish.
- * In lieu of using Mandarino, perhaps you could leave it out / experiment with another infused oil, or perhaps with adding a pinch of sugar, some chopped preserved lemon or a squeeze of fresh orange juice?
- ** Depending on the cooking time of the pasta, you may wish to adjust the order of cooking so the pasta and bacon ‘sauce’ are ready at the same time.
- Measurements are not exact as I cooked this rather spontaneously (i.e. without measuring things) – this post is intended to serve as a guide / inspiration rather than a definite ‘how-to’. :-)