Recipe: Nigella Lawson’s Pasta Alla Bruno

From Nigela Lawson’s latest cookbook Simply Nigella comes a fabulous pasta recipe.

“Since this book [Simply Nigella] contains a recipe for Chicken Cosima inspired by my daughter, it seems only fair to include a recipe for my son as well. This is his favoured pasta – which can also be made with chorizo, should that be at hand – and I have been greeted on many mornings with the tell-tale signs of it in the kitchen from the late night before. A variant also includes fresh mozzarella, added at the end of the cooking time, while the pasta is sitting, calmly absorbing its sauce, but I think it better without. Not that, at home, it’s my call. You must do as you wish.”


8 oz casarecce pasta or pasta of your choice
1 tsp salt for pasta water or to taste
1 tsp regular olive oil
6 slices thin-cut smoked bacon
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely grated or minced
8 oz ripe cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Parmesan or mozzarella, to serve

º Put a saucepan of water on to boil for the pasta, and when it’s bubbling, add a teaspoon of salt or to taste, and put the casarecce on to cook. The make I use stipulates 11 minutes’ cooking time, but I feel it needs rather less, so keep testing. Get on with the sauce when the pasta goes in, or even before, should you prefer, as it can stand, with the lid on, once it’s cooked.

º Heat the oil in a wok or heavy-based frying pan that comes with a lid, then scissor in the bacon, and stir-fry until crisp. (If you want the bacon to stay crisp, remove now to a plate, uncovered, and toss back in just before eating.) Remove the pan from the heat, just while you add the garlic, then stir, and place back on the heat. Tumble in the quartered cherry tomatoes and the red pepper flakes, stir well, and put on the lid. Shake the wok from time to time while cooking, and lift the lid once or twice to give a stir, and a check.

º Once the pasta is cooked but still with a bit of bite to it, use a “spider” or wire basket ladle to scoop out the pasta into the wok, stirring in a little of the pasta cooking water just to help the sauce amalgamate. Put the lid on and leave to stand on the ring it cooked on, though with the heat turned off, for 5 minutes.

º Stir the bacon back in, check for seasoning, then tip into a bowl, and eat heartily.

Excerpted from Simply Nigella by Nigella Lawson. Recipes copyright © 2015 Nigella Lawson, Photography copyright © 2015 Keiko Oikawa. Published by Appetite by Random House, a division of Random House of Canada Ltd., a Penguin Random House Company. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.