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Perfect Spicy Penne

Italian pasta recipes always give me a sense of comfort. Prefect Spicy Penne is one of my favorite pasta dishes. Made with just a splash of Tabasco sauce and red chiles, it adds a little bit of a kick to your usual pasta dish.

  • 2 medium onions, chopped coarse
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 8 rashers pancetta or bacon
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 can (14-ounces) tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 can (14-ounces) pasata (sieved tomatoes)
  • 2 tablespoons sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 250 grams mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed dried red chillies
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 50 grams Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 350 grams Penne pasta
  1. Dice the bacon and fry over a moderate heat in the olive oil until it begins to crisp and remove from the pan with a slotted spoon.
  2. Dice the onions and fry in the same pan for a few minutes until soft. Add the garlic to the onions and fry for 1 minute.
  3. Douse the pan with the wine to remove any stuck on food and flavour. Add the remaining ingredients including the bacon, and season well.
  4. The pepper is best skinned, do this by scorching under the grill and then place the pepper in a polyethylene bag for 5 minutes to sweat. The skin should come away quite easily under a running tap.
  5. Turn the heat down to a simmer and check the sauce for heat, add more tabasco if needed. Leave to simmer for about 1/2 an hour before serving.
  6. To serve, combine the sauce in a large pan with the cooked pasta, and garnish with more basil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Serve with fresh crusty bread or ciabatta flutes

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