Lardon Penne.

I love a good de-glaze. There’s something about pouring a liquid into a hot pan and hearing that firework crackle of the pan that makes me feel that I’m about to get some seriously syrupy sauce that you just can’t get out of cracking open a jar. It’s a very simple way of making a sauce that doesn’t really require you grabbing a lot of ingredients or balancing a lot of things at one time.

I fall back on recipes like this on an average weekday – usually when I forget to defrost meat or pick up something in the shop – and while I martyr myself for a recipe like this as something that will just ‘have to do’, I’d be a stone cold liar if I said I hadn’t once or twice planned to eat this meal with a full fridge of fresh ingredients.

I use lardons and a little garlic oil here because the heat of the oven renders down the fat so you don’t need that much oil however if you want a more pungent tang to the dish, opt for regular olive oil and use garlic cloves, splinter them with the edge of a big knife and throw in with the lardons.


Preheat an oven to 200C and cover lardons in some garlic oil in a roasting dish that can go on a hob top. Once the oven is hot, slide in the roasting dish for 10-15 minutes. Bring a big pan of water to a boil. The quickest way to do this is just boil a kettle, pour it into a pan and put it on a high heat until it’s bubbling again – before salting and adding some penne.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain and leave to one side. Now, while I say these are quick recipes, I do mean quick because penne left around too long has the texture of rubber bullets so speed, while isn’t of essence, is preferable. Take the roasting dish of lardons from the oven and place on top of the hot pan. Pour in a little Vermouth (or white wine) and use a spoon to scrape all of the juices from the pan to create a glossy, golden sauce.

Return the pasta back to its dry pan and pour in the lardon/Vermouth syrup and toss everything together to create an emulsified dish. I recommend serving with some torn up parsley and a shy grating of Parmesan.


Whilst very quick, this recipe is also very liberal. If you don’t have penne, use another pasta shape. If you don’t have lardons, just take a scissors to some rashers of bacon and if you don’t have Vermouth, use some white wine. However, I have been known to buy that ‘cooking wine’ from some supermarkets which is sometimes a God send to a lazy cook like myself because the alcohol has already been burnt out so cooking time is a lot less. However utilise this recipe as you see fit, cut whatever corners you feel and take a sigh of relief knowing you can have this with no stress at the end of the working evening.



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