Bacon and mushroom penne. Picture: Supplied
Bacon and mushroom penne. Picture: Supplied

International Bacon Day: Bacon recipes that won't ruin your healthy eating habits

By Lutho Pasiya Time of article published Sep 4, 2021

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Today is International Bacon Day – an unofficial observance where people choose to celebrate by cooking with bacon. Held on the first Saturday of September each year, Bacon Day celebrations typically include social gatherings during which dishes containing bacon are made and eaten, including bacon-themed breakfasts, lunches, dinners, desserts, and drinks.

Whether it’s served alongside eggs, tucked in a sandwich, or swirled into pasta, there’s no meal that can’t be made better with bacon. There’s no reason to deprive yourself of it, even if you’re trying to eat a bit healthier. While we aren’t encouraging you to eat bacon at every meal, here are some ways to incorporate it in dishes without feeling like you’ve totally pigged out.

Bacon and mushroom penne

Ingredients

400g cooked penne

½ red onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic (made into a paste)

250g mushroom, roughly chopped

250ml cream

100ml white wine

150g bacon, diced

50g grated parmesan

A handful of chopped parsley

Salt and pepper

Method

Bring a pan up to high heat and add the chopped bacon. Allow the fat to render and the bacon to brown slightly. Next, add the onions and garlic and sauté until golden.

Once golden, add the mushrooms and cook until most of the moisture is out.

Deglaze the pan with the white wine and cook until the wine has evaporated.

Turn the heat down to medium and add the cream.

Bring the cream up to a slight sizzle and then add the cooked pasta and fold it in.

Add the parmesan and chopped parsley and fold in evenly.

Plate and enjoy while watching a game of cricket on the telly.

Recipe by chef Kyle Marshall.

Cauliflower and bacon gratin

Serves: 6

Ingredients

15ml vegetable oil

400g thick bacon rashers, cubed

2 onions, halved and sliced

4 medium potatoes, unpeeled and thickly sliced

600g cauliflower cut into bite-size florets

100g grated Gruyère cheese

125ml chopped chives

Salt and pepper

250ml cream

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Heat oil in a pan and fry bacon for 10 minutes until it starts to crisp. Add the onion and sizzle for another 10 minutes, until soft and golden.

Meanwhile, tip the potatoes into a large pot of boiling, salted water and cook for 10 minutes. Add the cauliflower and boil for a further 5 minutes. Drain into a colander.

In an ovenproof dish, layer the potato and cauliflower, and then scatter over the bacon and onion, a small handful of cheese, a sprinkling of chives, and season with salt and pepper.

Drizzle with a little cream. Continue until all the layers are finished, pour over the remaining cream, and scatter with cheese and chives.

Bake for 30 minutes until bubbling. Remove from the oven and set aside for 1 minute to rest.

Serve straight from the dish.

Recipe by Angela Day.

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