What you need
- 1 packet (500g) penne pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 100g mild pancetta – chopped
- 1 garlic clove – crushed
- 1 bunch asparagus – chopped into 3cm pieces (reserve the spear tips)
- 1 punnet cherry tomatoes
- Freshly ground pepper
- Handful basil leaves (& a few extra leaves to sprinkle before serving)
What to do
Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil
Add 1 teaspoon salt to the pot
Add the Penne to the boiling water and stir for 30 seconds. Cook for 11 minutes then drain.
In the meantime, heat the olive oil on medium heat in a pan, add the chopped pancetta and stir. Cook pancetta for 2 minutes or until it becomes crispy, add the crushed garlic. Stir through and cook for 1 minute.
Add the chopped asparagus (keep spears aside for now, we’ll add those later). Stir through and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the cherry tomatoes and 2 tablespoons of the pasta water to the pan. Cook for 4 minutes or until the tomatoes start to break down.
Add the reserved asparagus spears and a little ground pepper. Cook for a further 2 minutes.
By this time the pasta should be ready. Add the drained pasta to the pan and toss to combine.
Serve immediately with freshly grated parmesan cheese, torn basil leaves and a little olive oil drizzled over the top.