Penne with Spicy Tomato Sauce and Sizzling Bacon


  • 350g penne pasta
  • 1 tablesp. olive oil
  • 175g piece rindless streaky bacon or streaky rashers, cut into small thin strips
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 teasp. sweet or smoked paprika
  • 1 red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
  • 400ml passata (sieved tomatoes)
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Small handful fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Tip the penne into a pan of boiling, salted water, stir once, then cook for 10-12 minutes until 'al dente' or according to packet instructions. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a saute pan and fry the bacon for a couple of minutes until crispy. Add the onion and cook for another minute or two until softened, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic with paprika and chilli and cook for about 30 seconds, stirring. Stir in the passata and cook for 1-2 minutes until heated through. Add the sugar and season to taste. When the pasta is cooked, drain well and then return to the pan. Pour in the tomato mixture and add the basil, then fold everything together until well combined.

Serving Suggestions

Divide among warmed plates to serve.