Rigatoni with bacon and chilli… pasta perfection in minutes

Rigatoni with bacon, tomato and chilli

I love pasta!

I love the fact pasta comes in a variety of shapes. I love the taste and texture of pasta. I love the simplicity of pasta. I love that most kids love pasta. I love that pasta is quick and easy to make. I love that pasta is so adaptable.

I love everything about pasta… it is the most perfect fast food in the world!

So the next time you are looking for a fast meal to fix for the kids or yourself, you could do a lot worse than a nice bowl of pasta. And I bet you could cook a delicious, nutritious bowl of pasta faster than you could have a pizza delivered.

Rigatoni with bacon, tomato and chilli

  • Preparation time: 5 minutes
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes
  • Skill level: beginner


  • 200g rigatoni (but any shape will do)
  • 3 slices of back bacon, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 anchovy, chopped (optional)
  • 1 heaped tsp capers, drained and chopped
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 pinches of sugar
  • pepper and salt


  1. Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water.*
  2. Fry the bacon until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove to a bowl and set aside. Add the onion to the bacon pan and fry over a moderate heat for 4-5 minutes until softened.
  3. Add the chilli and garlic and stir for a minute before pouring in the tomatoes and adding the anchovy, capers, balsamic, sugar and a good grinding of pepper and some salt. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, until reduced by about a third. Taste for seasoning, then drain the pasta and stir into the sauce.

* TIP: always add salt to the water when cooking pasta. I’m not sure of the science, but without salt in the water your pasta will become a tasteless pile of mush.


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