Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Lemon Bacon and Olive Pasta

Lemon Bacon and Olive Pasta
Serves 4

500g dried pasta
250g pitted kalamata olives, chopped in quarters
250g bacon/prosciutto/pancetta, chopped the same size as the olive pieces
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped fine
Freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
Extra virgin olive oil

Cook pasta as directed. Meanwhile, fry bacon until crisp and drain on paper towel. Combine bacon, olives, lemon rind, thyme, and pepper in a bowl.

Add an equal volume of olive oil to the lemon juice, and whisk together until the mixture thickens. Drain pasta, add the lemon/olive oil mixture, and stir until the pasta is well coated. Stir remaining ingredients through and serve.

This is a very flexible recipe – adjust all the ingredients to taste, substitute different meats or olive varieties, try fresh pasta. The only constraint seems to be the lemon juice/olive oil ratio. Too little olive oil and the mixture won’t emulsify and thicken. Even this doesn’t really matter – the lemon flavour will be more pronounced, and the sauce much thinner. For whisking I highly recommend this little gadget, found at the MoMA design store in NYC.