Garlic Bacon Pasta with a chilli kick, a delicious 20-minute meal that is easy to make with only 6 ingredients. It's comforting and simple, but it's this very simplicity that makes this dish an ideal midweek dinner.
This garlic bacon spaghetti reminds me of an eggless bacon carbonara, as it uses similar ingredients, but it's even simpler, you don't need to worry about the eggs scrambling or not being cooked enough.
It's wonderfully flavourful even without any sauce whatsoever, and the chilli flakes add a nice touch to an already delicious dish. As for the garlic, you know me, the more, the better.
And dare I say, just because it's simple, it doesn't mean it can't be served as a nice romantic meal for two - after all, you can never go wrong with spaghetti!
You can use any kind of bacon you have, regular or smoked bacon, streaky bacon or bacon lardons - the only thing to keep in mind is that the bacon needs to be fully cooked before adding the spaghetti, as it won't cook anymore after.
- spaghetti - I used enough for 2 people, but you can double up the ingredients if you are cooking for your family
- bacon - regular bacon chopped up roughly
- garlic - I would go for fresh garlic, rather than minced garlic from a jar
- parmesan cheese - the best cheese to go with spaghetti
- black pepper - to taste
- chilli flakes - or fresh chillies if you have any
- fresh parsley - optional
Step-by-step photos and instructions
- cook the spaghetti according to the packet instructions
- in a frying pan set over a medium heat, cook the bacon until golden brown and crispy
- add the peeled and chopped garlic and chilli flakes, and leave it to cook for a further 30 seconds
- when the spaghetti are ready, reserved a quarter of a cup of the cooking water, and drain the rest
- add the spaghetti to the bacon, and toss well to combine
- add the reserved pasta water, and toss again
- sprinkle over the parmesan, season with black pepper, and garnish with fresh parsley
There is no need to add any salt to this dish, the bacon and parmesan are salty enough, added salt would make the pasta way too salty, even for people who like a rather generous amount of salt in their food.
Never rinse the pasta after draining the water, we need the ingredients to stick to the pasta and blend all together - the extra starch in the reserved pasta water will help too.
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Garlic Bacon Pasta
- ¼ packet spaghetti (125 g, 4 oz)
- 1 cup bacon, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoon grated parmesan
- ½ teaspoon chilli flakes
- 3 cloves of garlic
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley (optional)
- Cook the spaghetti according to the packet instructions.
- Meanwhile, heat up a frying pan over a medium heat, and cook the bacon until golden brown and crispy.
- Add the peeled and chopped garlic and chilli flakes, and cook for a further 30 seconds.
- When the pasta is cooked, reserve a quarter of a cup of water, and drain the rest.
- Add the spaghetti to the bacon, and toss well.
- Pour over the reserved pasta water, and toss again.
- Sprinkle over the parmesan, season with black pepper, and garnish with chopped parsley.
- There is no need to add any salt to this dish, the bacon and parmesan are salty enough, added salt would make the pasta way too salty, even for people who like a rather generous amount of salt in their food.
- Never rinse the pasta after draining the water, we need the ingredients to stick to the pasta and blend all together - the extra starch in the reserved pasta water will help too.