Here's a penne worth thinking about, loaded with crispy bacon, sauteed veggies, crunchy pine nuts and our totally irresistible red pesto, made of sun-dried tomato, chargrilled capsicum, almonds, basil and Parmesan.
pine nuts(ContainsTree NutsMay be presentGluten, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Sesame, Milk, Soy)
baby spinach leaves
red pesto(ContainsTree Nuts, Milk)
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Chop the bacon into 1cm pieces. Thinly slice the brown onion. Finely chop the garlic (or use a garlic press). Cut the broccoli (see ingredients list) into small florets and roughly chop the stalk. Zest the lemon (see ingredients list) until you have 1 tsp for 2 people / 2 tsp for 4 people, then cut the lemon in half.
Add the penne to the boiling water and cook until ‘al dente’, 10 minutes. TIP: 'Al dente' means the pasta is cooked through but still has a bit of firmness in the middle. Drain, reserving some pasta water (1/4 cup for 2 people / 1/2 cup for 4 people). Return the pasta to the pan.
While the pasta is cooking, heat a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the pine nuts and toast, stirring, until golden, 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl.
Return the frying pan to a medium-high heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Add the bacon and cook until browned, 6-7 minutes. Add the onion and broccoli and cook, stirring, until softened, 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and lemon zest and cook until softened and fragrant, 2 minutes.
Add the baby spinach leaves to the frying pan and stir through until slightly wilted. Add the cooked penne and red pesto and toss to combine. Add a splash of pasta water to help the sauce coat the pasta. Add a generous squeeze of lemon juice. TIP: Seasoning is key in this dish, so taste and season with salt, pepper or lemon juice if you wish!
Divide the red pesto and bacon penne between bowls. Crumble over the feta and sprinkle with the pine nuts and a pinch of chilli flakes (if using).