Making meals from odds and sods can be quite satisfying. This recipe was borne from a wanting of carbonara... but, sadly, the refrigerator neglected to supply any eggs. (Yes, I keep my eggs in the fridge. They last longer and, to be honest, I don't think they're ability to absorb neighbouring ingredient's flavours as all too powerful).
As sad as it sounds, I was particularly looking forward to using the dried chilli. A friend, who owns an allotment, gave me a small bunch of chillies and I had a little dabble in drying them. An hour or so in the oven on a low heat did the trick nicely.
I also used some homemade rosemary flavoured olive oil, which I use in this recipe. Flavoured oils are quite simply to make, but can have such an amazing impact on the dish you are cooking.
200g short dried pasta, such as fusilli or penne, cooked as per packet instructions
2tbsp olive oil, either plain or rosemary flavoured
4 rashers of smoked bacon, cut into 1cm pieces
1 dried chilli
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
50g pecorino cheese, grated
1/4tsp freshly ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle
Heat the olive oil in a a frying pan and cook the bacon, until just about to turn crispy. Just before that point, throw in the garlic and chilli and cook long enough for the garlic to brown. Don't let it brown, otherwise it'll turn bitter.
Once your pasta has cooked, drain it and return to its pan. Stir in the contents of the frying pan along with the cheese, pepper and extra virgin olive oil.
Additional cheese on top will never be unappreciated at this point.
Serve and enjoy.