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Creamy Red Pesto and Pancetta Buckwheat Pasta

I second guessed myself before writing this up as a recipe, because who in their right mind doesn’t already know how to make pesto pasta? However, I’ve decided to go ahead because recipes like this – those with a tiny handful of steps and ingredients – tend to fare far better with most of you and actually make it into your kitchens.

I happen to have worked with ALDI (I know, finally, right?) on this particular dinner. They sent me over some vouchers so that I could get creative with the special buys and super 6 sections to bring you a super simple supper that you can quickly, easily and cheaply recreate at home.

I’m obsessed with ALDI, as you all know too well. One of my favourite things about them is the constant sense of novelty thanks to their special buys. At the moment, they’ve got some gorgeous buckwheat pasta in as part of a new influx of free from products. Me and Tom have had it twice now and we’re good and proper converts, I’m going to go and bulk buy some (£1.69 a pack) in case it disappears forever in a month or two (as my ALDI faves so often do!). Buckwheat pasta is chewier in texture than your average fusilli, darker in colour and a little more interesting in flavour. Plus, while I love me a pasta induced food coma and/or baby from time to time, it can be quite nice to leave a meal without one too.

Our second ingredient of focus is outdoor bred smoked pancetta (£1.49 for 20 rashers) from this weeks super 6. For those unaware, ALDI put up 6 fruit/veg items and 6 meat/fish items on offer each week]. My weekday meals are usually inspired by what I can find in these sections and I get quite excited to see them refreshed every week. Christ, I need to get out more.

The gorgeous saltiness of the pancetta is mixed here with sweetness of onions and richness of the sundried tomatoes whizzed up in the pesto (jarred, sorry everyone) to make an easy weeknight meal that’s packed with strong flavours.

I don’t know if it’s normal to whack a dollop of natural yoghurt into pesto pasta, but it’s something my Nan always did and I personally feel that creaminess is priority number one when it comes to pasta dishes, so have adopted the habit too.

Serves 2

200g buckwheat pasta
1 onion, sliced
8 rashers pancetta, sliced into about 1cm strips
2 heaped tbsps red pesto
1 heaped tbsp natural yoghurt
half cup reserved pasta water

  1. Cook the onions on a medium heat until beginning to colour. Once they’re just starting to go golden brown, cook the pasta according to pack instructions.
  2. Add the pancetta to the onions and cook, stirring all the time, until the meat is cooked and looking crispy.
  3. Drain the pasta and get it in the pan with the onions and pancetta along with the reserved pasta water and the pesto. Give everything a stir, then add the yoghurt. Stir again and serve.

Creamy Red Pesto and Pancetta Buckwheat Pasta

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  1. We had it too – and i was very impressed! Buckwheat pasta was a slightly unusual flavour I found but a great texture in comparison to other gluten free pastas. Adam used to love more than anything a huge bowl of chickeny, bacony tomatoey garlicy pasta covered in cheese, so on Friday night that’s what I made him! It was actually delicious, and a great GF option for people missing proper pasta dishes! Alice xxx

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