I watch a fair whack of food programmes on TV and – instead of keeping a notebook handy to jot things down – I rely on my memory to come through when I eventually decide to cook the dish. Not a good idea.
I saw someone (most likely Ina Garten) make a warm pasta salad with smoked bacon and I had a beautiful package of Wiltshire back bacon, so – when Tandy issued rocket as her latest seasonal ingredient challenge – I knew exactly what I wanted to make.

I made the salad as a side dish for our steaks, but it would me perfect on its own as a Meatless Monday Meal.

2 cups cooked fusilli
6 rashers smoked bacon crisply fried and diced
1 can of chickpeas, drained
1 handful of mixed Tuscan herbs (I used Watercress, mizuna, rocket and red spinach)
Salt & pepper to taste
Juice of 1 lemon and a drizzle of olive oil

As is always the case, the simplest dishes always come out tops. We loved this salad, the bite of the rocket was a perfect playmate for the other ingredients.

From Wikipedia:

Eruca sativa (syn. E. vesicaria subsp. sativa (Miller) Thell., Brassica eruca L.), is an edible annual plant, commonly known as rocket, roquette, rucola or arugula, not to be confused with Wild rocket. It is a species of Eruca native to the Mediterranean region, from Morocco and Portugal east to Lebanon and Turkey.

And here are my answers to Mandy ‘s latest ‘Getting To Know You Challenge’:
1. Who would you be honoured to have cook in your kitchen?
Anthony Bourdain … naked.
2. What have you always wanted to cook or eat but never have?
3. What is your favourite part of a chicken?
That little fillet of soft meat in the back.
4. Do you use a knife or a vegetable peeler to peel potatoes?
Most of a potato’s fibre is in the skin, peeling it is just silly.
5. What one item do you keep in the kitchen you know you shouldn’t use but do?
Ready-rolled frozen puff pastry. So sue me!
6. Do you like using the new culinary foam with your meals?
I don’t know anything about the product.
7. What 3 meals would you take to a friend who is sick in bed?
And catch their germs, are you crazy???


69 Comments Add yours

  1. hotlyspiced says:

    That looks delicious. Easy, fast, simple, nutritious. Like you said, ‘the simplest dishes always come out tops’. I can see every member of my family enjoying this with no complaints.

    1. theonlycin says:

      My daughter is currently a bacon-addict, hotly, so I can’t make enough dishes containing the stuff 🙂

  2. Sparkle says:

    LOL!@7. Morning Cin, Tripe is yummy with hot pap. Maybe you should try buying from african restaurant before trying to prepare it yourself.

    1. theonlycin says:

      When I was a child, my nanny used to make me curried tripe and onions on pap and I loved it, Sparky, I just don’t think my family will eat it. Maybe your idea of getting a take away from Mama Africa around the corner is a good one 🙂

  3. dinahmow says:

    “…and catch their germs…” Indeed.

  4. inzwakazi says:

    I should make you tripe one day, although I doubt you’d eat it.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Of course I would! 🙂 xxx

  5. adeeyoyo says:

    Tripe is one of my favourites, either in white sauce or in a curry sauce. Delicious. BUT it must be cooked soft because it can be terrible! I do it in a pressure cooker for a few hours!!!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Call me to come over next time, adee 🙂

  6. dearrosie says:

    Looks like a tasty salad. I’m going to try it.

    1. theonlycin says:

      It’s very worthwhile, Rosie, but I think it could use some chilli 🙂

  7. earlybird says:

    I love rocket. And bacon!

    1. theonlycin says:

      A super combo. earlybird 🙂

  8. souldipper says:

    I like your salad tongs!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Will feature them in tomorrow’s post, Amy 🙂

  9. Leeswammes says:

    That salad looks great! I’d never have thought of combining pasta with chick peas but I can imagine the nutty flavour of the chick peas being great with the pasta.

    I like your answers to the questionnaire!

    1. theonlycin says:

      The chickpeas came as a result of reading Giorgio Locatelli’s fabulous book, more on which tomorrow, Judith 🙂

  10. Yvette says:

    I love the flavour of rocket and this combo would be simply delicious! I too use rucola in an Italian cold pasta dish..I’ll have to check my archives of posts…I’ve a memory lapse if I’ve shared this recipe or not…Bourdain naked in your kitchen would be good!

    1. theonlycin says:

      It would be very good, Yvette 😉

  11. nursemyra says:

    How does that delicious salad qualify for Meatless Monday when it’s full of bacon?

    1. theonlycin says:

      Tut tut, Myra, don’t nitpick … in Tandy’s household bacon is considered a condiment 😉

  12. Hmm, yummy salad! I am still trying to think of what I can do for the challenge.
    Thanks for taking part again Cindy. Tripe, you are a brave girl.
    Have a great week.
    🙂 Mandy

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks for the challenge, Mandy, I enjoy doing them 🙂

  13. Tilly Bud says:

    Looks delicious but I’m puzzled – does bacon not count as meat?

    1. theonlycin says:

      Not in Tandy’s house 😉

  14. Spectra says:

    Love your use of arugula (as we mostly call it here in the States). I grew it this summer in my garden, and it makes such a nice accent in a salad. And, I agree with you, I don’t peel potatoes either. It’s hard enough to work enough fiber into our diets! Pretty pictures, too, as usual.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Spectra 🙂

  15. Tandy says:

    I agree, peeling vegetables is silly! thanks for taking part 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      At least I got in on time for this one 😉

  16. The Hook says:

    At least your TV watching results in something productive. I watch The Walking Dead!

    1. theonlycin says:

      There’s a show called that? Can’t have much of a script?

  17. granny1947 says:

    I know I am not a foodie but I was sure bacon was meat!!!!

    1. theonlycin says:

      At Tandy’s place bacon is seasoning for any dish 😉

  18. Pseu says:

    love your reply about taking food to a sick friend!

    1. theonlycin says:

      It’s tongue in cheek, of course 😉

  19. nrhatch says:

    I’d make it sans bacon . . . and that’s no tripe! 😉

    1. theonlycin says:

      Hehehe … you could add some soya or *puke* tofu?

  20. colonialist says:

    I take it you’ve never been tempted to be a nurse?

    Tripe is a very pleasant dish with the customary onions. It has to be prepared by an expert, though, or one ends up with tasteless strips of rubber.

    1. theonlycin says:

      No, Col, nursing was never on the cards for me, but I do fondly remember tripe from my childhood 🙂

      1. colonialist says:

        Aha! You fibbed! You said you have never eaten it. I take it that was all a lot of tripe? 🙂

      2. theonlycin says:

        Ha! The question was ‘cook or eat’ I have eaten eat, but always wanted to try to cook it 😉

  21. Ruth says:

    Culinary foam? I don’t even like foam on my lattes. And does good food (or drink) really need to be enhanced by… er, flavoured fluff? 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      I’m not going anywhere near it, Ruth 🙂

  22. I take it those little beige balls are the chick peas? That does look like a very nice salad. The bacon adds nice colour.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Yes, they are the chickpeas. I’ll be writing a post about them soon, Lee, they’re very good for you!

  23. slpmartin says:

    Salad looks wonderful…will have to add it to my ‘do try” list. 😉

    1. theonlycin says:

      Wait for summer, Charlie 🙂

  24. Mal says:

    Right with you on No 7 😉 …talk about fair weather amigos…hahaha!! 😆

  25. Sue Green says:

    Having spent my summers working in my grandfather’s tripe factory I never want to see or smell the stuff ever again….let alone eat it! *shudders at the memory*

    1. theonlycin says:

      They have factories dealing only with tripe? Good heavens!

  26. johnell74 says:

    Oh dear, Cindy.
    When I went to school in Hull, I used to pass a tripe shop each day. Lots of tripe used to be spread around the window. I never ate tripe before that, and seeing it on display didn’t make me feel any better about it! Sorry!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Oh dear, the comments about tripe aren’t making it look at all a promising prospect, thanks John 🙂

  27. Linda says:

    I was thinking the same thing as Tilly. The thought of tripe makes feel ill. Very very ill. On the other hand Anthony naked in the kitchen. Ok well at least some jeans, please. The naked part could come later.

    1. theonlycin says:

      How about just an apron to start, Linda? 😉

  28. Looks gorgeous as usual.
    And Dad’s right. You don’t really want tripe, any more than jellied eels….

    1. theonlycin says:

      Jellied eels … I think not, Kate 🙂

  29. Androgoth says:

    Yes definitely yummy and thank
    you for offering it my friend 🙂

    Happy Halloween 🙂


    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Androgoth, hope you had a fun Halloween 🙂

  30. bluebee says:

    All the naughty boys, hey, Cin? Anthony Bourdain, Gordon Ramsay… 😉

    1. theonlycin says:

      Women who run with wolves, eh, bluebee? 😉

  31. SidevieW says:

    err bacon = meatless monday?

    I’m not sure I like naked cooks, all sorts of things could get burnt (or fail to rise?)

    1. theonlycin says:

      Hahahaha, Sidey, especially with Mister Scoffier being so capricious, eh?

  32. Lovely salad and I loved your answers!!! Made me smile!! 🙂

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