tomato and pancetta pasta

as you’ll probably know if you’re a regular reader of eat the right stuff, i love tomatoes. if i’m at an indian restaurant my starting point in choosing what to eat is finding out which sauce is tomato based. i have a similar approach to pasta, tarts and salads.

one of my favourite pasta dishes, which is something i’ve made since i stopped being a vegetarian over ten years ago, is this tomato and pancetta sauce. the salty sweet flavour of good quality pancetta is a fabulous contrast to the sharp tang of tomatoes.

this dish is my contribution to presto pasta nights which, this week, is being hosted by judith at think on it.

tomato and pancetta pasta (serves 2-3)

penne for two or three

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

6-8 pancetta rashers, cut into 1cm pieces

400g tin of chopped tomatoes

½ teaspoon sugar

salt & pepper

a handful of chopped basil (i used pesto as i had no fresh basil)

cook the pasta.

meanwhile, heat the olive oil and fry the garlic and bacon until the garlic is soft and the bacon cooked through. add the tomatoes and sugar (this brings out the tomato flavour, much as tomato puree does) and simmer until the sauce thickens. season to taste and stir in the basil and cooked penne. serve with parmesan.