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Cabbage and Pasta with Bacon and Mozzarella

This simple lunch dish is quick and easy to make. The combination of cabbage, bacon and pine nuts is one that all the family should enjoy. Stir in the mozzarella just before serving and the cheese will have just started to melt and turn lovely and stringy. For a crisp, cheesy topping, sprinkle with 50g grated cheddar cheese and grill until golden. If you have no fresh thyme, use dried instead.

Ingredients

350g dried penne pasta
1 tbsp olive oil
150g smoked streaky bacon, chopped
few sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked from the stem
1 pointed cabbage (outer leaves removed), quartered, cored and finely sliced (300g)
125g mozzarella, cut into 1cm dice
25g pine nuts, toasted
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

Cook the penne in plenty of salted boiling water for 10-12 minutes until al dente.

Meanwhile heat the olive oil in a large pan and fry the bacon for 3-4 minutes until golden and crisp. Add the thyme and the sliced cabbage and season well. Stir, cover with a lid and cook over a low heat for 5-7 minutes, shaking occasionally until the cabbage is just tender but still bright green.

Drain the pasta well and add to the pan with the cabbage. Add the mozzarella and pine nuts, season and toss to combine all the ingredients. Tip into a warmed serving dish and serve immediately.