I frequently find the best kind of meals are ones that are thrown together
out of desperation due to sudden changes to my plans. This lovely little pasta dish was born out of such a situation, and is most definitely my favourite lunch I've eaten this week! It certainly beats hands down the questionable Prawn jacket potato I ate in a cafe the other day, which literally was as it reads. I know I'm not hugely keen on mayo but surely a little sauce even to compensate the rather bland prawns would have improved things!
Anyway, back to this lovely pasta! Previous attempts at trying to make myself enjoy wholemeal pasta have failed, however with a certain supermarket reducing bags of it to clear at 22p, I thought I would try again, and in this recipe I think I've finally cracked it! For once I embraced the nuttiness of it, though do feel free to make it with regular penne if you are not a convert.
One of my favourite vegetables are mushrooms, closely followed by courgette, so a combination of the two means it already a keeper! The rest came about as to what I fancied and what was lurking in the fridge! I find the little pots of pancetta cubes such a handy standby in the fridge and are great for a quick meal, and pesto is a saviour for these types of dishes as its just so versatile! The sauce is ready in the time it takes to boil the pasta, what's not to like?
This is what my lunch looked like today:
Makes two tubs for lunch.
1/4 red onion, sliced thinly
100g pancetta cubes/ lardons
125g wholemeal penne
2 tbsp plain natural yoghurt (I really like Yeo Valley's)
6 fresh mint leaves
3 chestnut mushrooms, halved and sliced into 1/2cm chunks
1/2 courgette, halved lengthways and sliced into rounds
1/4cm slice garlic butter (I know its lazy but its so handy!)
2 heaped tsp green pesto
Boil the pasta as per packet instructions. Meanwhile heat a large frying pan, spray with a couple of squirts of oil and fry the onion and pancetta for a couple of minutes until its just starting to colour nicely, stir in the garlic butter, mushrooms and courgettes and fry over a moderate heat for five minutes, stirring regularly until everything is nicely coloured and cooked through.
Turn off the heat, stir in the yoghurt, mint and pesto and stir into the drained pesto, season with a little black pepper. The pancetta should be salty enough so check before adding any salt. Either eat straight away or allow to cool for later.