Tagliatelle with spicy tomato sauce and lardons

This really simple recipe was inspired by my friend Jules who cooked something similar for us when we were staying with them in Moscow a few years back. Since then we’ve had this for dinner regularly. It’s delicious and easy to make and the tomato sauce recipe is handy to use a base for a lot of other pasta dishes. It will also keep both vegetarians and meat eaters happy.

with bacon

The final dish with crispy lardons sprinkled over the top

Serves 2

2 cloves of garlic

1 medium onion, chopped

2 small dried chillies, chopped

1 tin chopped tomatoes

1 fresh tomato, skinned and chopped

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp of sugar

200g lardons

200g pasta

Heat a little olive oil in a pan and fry the onions and garlic until soft. Then add the chilli and cook for another couple of minutes.

Stir in the tinned and fresh tomatoes, pepper and sugar and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for at least 20 minutes. You can make it ahead and simply heat it up again when you want to eat.

Meanwhile, grill the lardons under the grill until crispy.

Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet.

Drain the pasta and pour it into the pan with the sauce. Mix it all together until the pasta is well coated. Serve into bowls and sprinkle with the crispy lardons.

The pasta mixed into the tomato sauce

The pasta mixed into the tomato sauce

Top tip

To take the skin off the tomato, immerse it in a jug of boiling water for about a minute, then pierce the skin with the tip of a knife. The skin should peel off easily.

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