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assemble ingredients

Hi everyone!  I’ve disappeared a bit into school holiday chaos, and taking a break, over the past couple of weeks, but we’re about to head back into school term and the usual routine – including posting more frequently!

We’ve just come back from a week and a bit of camping at the coast.  We often describe it as glamping, given it does involve access to hot showers, electricity and wifi, but we certainly sleep in a tent with sleeping bags, rather than air-conditioning and linen sheets, so I think it still counts!

add pasta and liquid

I aimed to cook most of the meals while away, while allowing for a couple of fish and chip dinners – compulsory when camping at the coast!  Space is always an issue given we have one car and no trailer, so I decided I would only take an electric frying pan, and every meal would have to be able to be cooked in it.  Over the eight nights, we certainly had some fish and chips, and some take away pizza, but I also cooked: sausages; san choy bow; chicken fajitas; Thai-ish chicken with hokkein noodles; and this one-pot pasta with tomato, bacon and olives.

By one-pot I mean exactly that – everything, including the pasta, was cooked together in the good old frying pan.  The idea was inspired by a recipe round up on BuzzFeed with 20 one-pot pastas.  Unlike some of my other recipes, the quantities for this one are based on the tin or packet size of the products I brought with me, but feel free to vary based on what you have – the only remotely critical part is the proportion of liquid to pasta i.e. making sure you have enough.  I would also use a pasta with a cooking time between 9 and 11 minutes so everything cooks together.

finished pasta

This was surprisingly delicious, with the pasta not at all gluggy – in fact the starch actually created a rather nice textured sauce.  I would suggest, however, using good quality pasta for this to reduce the chance of it going mushy.  I added olives and bacon to the basic format, but as you can imagine, you could use almost anything you would normally have with a tomato based pasta.  Variations I would try while camping (i.e. keeping it simple) would include: olives, capers and anchovies (classic puttanesca); artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes; tinned tuna and olives; or keeping it to plain tomato and adding whatever veges/herbs you have towards the end.

One-pot pasta with tomato, bacon and olive

  • 150g bacon rashers, chopped
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic (or a couple of cloves)
  • 1 Tbs oil (if bacon is lean)
  • 1 x 400g tin tomatoes
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 500g short pasta such as fusilli
  • 200g jar pitted kalamata olives, drained
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced

Heat an electric frying pan to medium heat, and fry the bacon until the fat is released and it is starting to brown.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute.  Add all the other ingredients along with 500ml (about two cups) of water.

Increase heat to high and bring to the boil.  Reduce heat, cover, and cook for approximately 10 min until the pasta is cooked and almost all liquid is absorbed.  Stir occasionally towards the end so it doesn’t stick.  That’s it!