The only way to improve the age-old family favourite, pesto pasta, is to add some crispy bacon and creamy feta. With so many textures and well-loved flavours, this dish is anything but ordinary!
traditional pesto(ContainsMilk, Tree Nuts)
baby spinach leaves
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Thinly slice the brown onion. Cut the broccoli into small florets, then roughly chop the stalk. Finely chop the garlic (or use a garlic press). Roughly chop the bacon into 1cm pieces.
Add the penne to the saucepan of boiling water and cook for 7 minutes. Add the broccoli and cook until the pasta is 'al dente' and the broccoli is just tender, 3 minutes. Drain. TIP: 'Al dente' means the pasta is cooked through but still has a bit of firmness in the middle.
While the pasta is cooking, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the onion and bacon and cook, tossing often, until tender and lightly browned, 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.
Add the broccoli and penne to the frying pan. Add the traditional pesto, the salt and a pinch of pepper. Add the baby spinach leaves and crumble in 1/2 the feta. Toss until the penne and broccoli are well coated and the spinach is slightly wilted. TIP: The warm penne will melt the feta and give a slightly creamy coating to the penne.
Add a squeeze of lemon juice (see ingredients list) to the pasta and season to taste with salt and pepper. TIP: Seasoning is key in this dish! Taste and add more lemon juice, salt or pepper if you think it needs it!
Divide the bacon, lemon and pesto penne between bowls. Crumble over the remaining feta and a pinch of chilli flakes (if using) to serve.