It seems only fair that if I'm posting photos of all this lovely food, then you should be able to have the recipes. Now, there are two kinds of cooks in this world: measurers and estimators. We fall into the estimator category, so if that's you then you'll be able to follow this recipe easily.
100g pasta penne per person
1 medium onion
1 clove of garlic
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 large bag of fresh spinach leaves
A few handfuls of smoked, diced bacon
A fistful of blue cheese or any other cheese you like (grated or crumbled)
Salt and pepper
250g of crème fraiche
1 teaspoon of whole grain mustard
Chop the onion and the clove of garlic. Soften in a little olive oil (about a tablespoon at most) and fry until they are soft. Don't burn the onion or the garlic so keep the heat low. In the meantime, put some well-salted water onto boil. Now chop some bacon. You can use back bacon or if you can get lardoons or those nice little cubes of Italian smoked ham, then that will be fine. A handful or two will be enough for two people. Put the bacon in the pan with the onion and garlic and just cook it so that it goes a little crispy but without burning the onions. Throw in a pinch of mixed herbs, some freshly ground black pepper and any other flavour that takes your fancy.
Next take a 250g tub of creme fraiche (or you can use thick greek yogurt or some such substitute) and tip it into a bowl and add a nice big teaspoon of whole grain mustard. By now you will have poured your dried pasta penne into the boiling water. Allow about 100g per person (dry weight) and it should take about 9 minutes to cook. Read the pack instructions if you’re not sure. Turn the heat down so the pasta isn’t bubbling furiously, just a rolling boil will be fine.
When the pasta is cooked, drain it and then tip a large bag of fresh spinach into the saucepan. The heat of the pasta will wilt the spinach in a minute or two. Stir to spread the spinach evenly. Now drop in some crumbled or grated blue cheese (St Agur is perfect) or use cheddar or any other cheese you like, if blue isn’t for you. Stir it into the pasta so it melts. Now add the onions and bacon and give it all another stir. Return to a medium heat and add the crème fraiche and stir it all in and make sure the whole dish is hot.
This is a rough-and-ready dish so adjust amounts to suit taste, hunger and personal preferences. Serve straight onto warm plates or put it into a big pasta dish if you want to serve it at table with a bit of elegance. Serve with a salad and a nice, robust red. Australian cabernet would be perfect.