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buckwheat penne with chicken, bacon, capsicum and zucchini

Even though I cook every day, I feel like I haven’t been cooking many fabulous new meals lately; but as I was quickly pulling this dinner together last night, I was thinking that for most of us, this is actually the reality – quickly trying to create something tasty and (hopefully) nutritious for our family dinner.  So I decided to write about it anyway…

fry bacon and zucchini

Now I’m writing about it, this sort of pasta is probably my favourite anyway – lots of vegetables and a bit of meat (usually some sort of pork product) tossed through pasta with garlic and olive oil – really simple and really delicious…

parsley, capsicum, penne

I had a packet of buckwheat pasta from a gluten-free visitor, some left over roast chicken, our favourite Piallago Farm bacon, lots of parsley, a couple of zucchini and a yellow capsicum (pepper).  This was the result last night, but you can probably see this is almost infinitely variable depending on what you have in the fridge or pantry.  I’ve suggested a couple of alternatives I like in the recipe.

add chicken and parsley to pan

Buckwheat penne with chicken, bacon, zucchini and capsicum

  • 340g buckwheat penne (or other short pasta, GF or not)
  • 100g bacon (or pancetta, chorizo etc)
  • 150g cooked chicken (optional)
  • 2 medium zucchini (or cooked sweet potato or pumpkin)
  • 1 yellow capsicum (or eggplant, tinned artichokes, cauliflower)
  • 2 spring onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • about 1/4 bunch parsley (or basil or tarragon)

Put a large pot of water on to boil with a small handful (about 1Tbs) of salt.  When the water is boiling, add the pasta to the pot and cook according to packet directions. Drain well.

While the pasta is cooking, heat a large heavy frying pan over medium low heat with the oil.  Chop bacon roughly, add to the pan and fry until browned and most of the fat is released.

Roughly chop the zucchini and capsicum, and finely slice the spring onion and garlic and add to the frying pan, cooking until the zucchini is lightly brown.  Reduce heat, add the chopped chicken and parsley, and cook gently until heated through.

Toss through the drained pasta, season with salt and pepper, and top with extra parsley.  Serve with grated parmesan if you like.

Serves four