Shells pasta



250g pasta shells (conchiglie)

1.75l (7 cups) boiling water

1 tbsp oil

salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

For the Sauce:

1 tbsp oil

1 onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

350g lean bacon, chopped

150ml (3/5 cup) water

500g (1 lb) tomatoes, blanched, peeled and quartered

1 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)

To Garish:

fresh parsley, chopped

freshly-grated Parmesan cheese



Combine the pasta, water, oil and 1 tsp salt in a pressure cooker. Bring to a boil then secure and seal the lid. Bring to full pressure over hight heat then reduce the heat to stabilize the pressure. Cook for 4 minutes then take off the heat and allow the pressure to reduce naturally at room temperature. Open the pressure cooker and drain the pasta into a bowl to keep warm.

Clean the pressure cooker, add the oil and heat. Stir in the onion, garlic and bacon and fry gently for 5 minutes. Now add the water (reserve 2 tbsp) and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Seal the cooker again, then bring to full pressure over high heat. Reduce the heat to stabilize the pressure and cook for 5 minutes.

Take off the heat, then place under cold, running, water to reduce the pressure quickly. Add the tomatoes and bring the mixture to a boil. Blend the cornflour (cornstarch) with the reserved water until you have a smooth slurry then work this slurry into the sauce. Bring back to a boil and cook, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes have broken down and the sauce has thickened.

Add the pasta, bring back to a simmer and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the pasta and sauce into a warmed serving dish. Sprinkle over some chopped parsley and serve accompanied by a bowl of freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.