Pasta supper or for lunch

Arlene Thompson. INLT 16-611-CON
Arlene Thompson. INLT 16-611-CON

Perfect pasta flavoured with crispy pancetta garlic and courgettes and finished with a cheese and creme fraiche sauce, this dish is perfect for a Saturday night in! You can have a go at making this dish for lunch at Carrickfergus Cookery School, Carrick YMCA, on Thursday 29th January, from 1.00 pm until 2.00 pm. Visit to see whats on the menu at ‘Cook your own lunch’ classes, Thursdays 1.00 pm until 200 pm, or contact Arlene direct E M 07854114727

Penne with chicken pancetta and courgettes

Serves: 4 Preparation time: 10 Minutes Cooking time: 15 Minutes

400g penne pasta

100g cubed pancetta or bacon lardons

300g chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 medium courgettes, chopped into 1c.m dice

1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced (optional)

200ml half fat crème fraîche

Black pepper

50g mature cheddar cheese, grated

1. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook the pasta, following pack instructions.

2. Meanwhile dry fry the pancetta or bacon lardons in a large frying pan until golden brown and crispy. Drain and remove from the pan. Then fry the chicken pieces until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan and keep warm with the pancetta.

3. Add the courgettes and red pepper to the frying pan and cook gently for 3-4 minutes until they are softened. Add the chopped garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Return the chicken and bacon to the pan and warm through.

4. When the pasta is cooked, drain in a colander and put back in the pan reserving some of the cooking liquid. Add the crème fraîche, some freshly ground black pepper and most of the grated cheddar. Add good splash of reserved cooking liquid if sauce needs thinning.

5. Gently fold chicken, bacon and courgettes into pasta and sprinkle with remaining grated cheese to serve.

COOKS TIPS: Add extra interest and flavour by making a tasty topping for your pasta dish, known as “gremolata”. Simply finely chop equal quantities of fresh parsley, fresh garlic and lemon zest and mix together. Sprinkle over the pasta dish before serving