Pasta Bake with Free Range Danish Bacon – for a crowd!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Yield: Serves 8
- 500g pack large pasta e.g. Rigatoni (I used Zitone #19)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 large white onion medium dice
- 4 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 250g Hellers Danish Eye Bacon roughly chopped
- 1 carrot peeled and finely diced
- 1 eggplant peeled and roughly chopped into dice
- 1 red pepper diced
- 1 tbsp capers (optional)
- 15 each Kalamata olives (optional)
- 1 tsp each oregano, rosemary and thyme
- 2 x 400g cans of chopped Italian tomatoes in thick sauce
- 1 cup shaved parmesan
- A handful of chopped Italian parsley
- Olive oil
- Cracked pepper and sea salt
Preheat oven to 180C
In a large deep fry pan or heavy based pot over medium heat add ½ the olive oil. Add the onion and cook for 5 mins, now add the bacon and cook for a further 5-7 mins. Add the garlic, carrot, eggplant, red peppers and remaining olive oil and sauté for 8-10 mins until the eggplant becomes tender.
To this add the oregano, rosemary and thyme and cook for 3 mins. Add the chopped tomatoes and allow the sauce to simmer gently for 10 mins or so [do not allow it to reduce too much] until the vegetables become just tender. Season well and set aside somewhere warm.
Cook your pasta al dente to the packets instructions [usually 8 mins]. Drain the pasta and then drizzle liberally with olive oil to stop it from sticking.
Grease a large 25-30cm baking dish with butter and spread ¼ of the sauce evenly over the bottom of the dish. Add a layer of pasta and then a light sprinkling of shaved parmesan, repeating this until the final layer. The final layer should end pasta then parmesan then sauce and then a final sprinkling of parmesan.
Bake in the oven for 20-25 mins.
To serve sprinkle the top of the pasta bake with parsley. Serve alongside a fresh green salad and crusty garlic bread.