A small amount of well-trimmed bacon goes a long way in imparting a full flavour to this quick pasta sauce. We've boosted the fibre with cannellini beans and the vegetable content with vibrant silverbeet, which cooks conveniently in the pasta water.
Patsy Jamieson, Diane Temple
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 rashers short-cut bacon, diced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 (400g) tin no-added-salt diced tomatoes
1 cup tomato passata
1 (400g) tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup water
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
400g wholemeal pasta, like fusilli, penne or rigatoni
1 bunch silverbeet, stems trimmed (see ‘tip’), leaves washed and torn into bite-sized pieces
1/3 cup shredded fresh basil or parsley
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Turn this recipe into a shopping list you can print, email or view on your mobile. It's free! Powered by Whisk.com
Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil for cooking pasta.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add onion and bacon then cook over medium heat, stirring often, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring 10 to 20 seconds. Add diced tomatoes, tomato passata, beans and water. Bring to the boil. Cook, uncovered, at a lively simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until flavours have blended, 10 to 15 minutes. Season with pepper.
Meanwhile, add pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the packet directions. Add silverbeet leaves when there are 4 minutes of cooking time left, and continue cooking until the pasta is just tender and silverbeet has wilted. Drain well and return pasta to saucepan. Mix in sauce, basil or parsley. Top each serve with a little Parmesan.
The celery-like stems of silverbeet are edible and have a pleasant, mild taste. Cut them into bite-sized pieces and pan-fry in a little olive oil until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. * Leftovers? Transform them into a pasta gratin. Spread the leftovers in a shallow baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with grated Parmesan and low-GI breadcrumbs. Bake, uncovered, at 220 degrees C until the top is golden and crusty, 25 to 30 minutes.