"Pasta is one of the few things I'm allowed to cook. I have an exclusion order on other fine foods - I can't get near them because I ruin them. It's also something I can eat almost any time of the day or night, but I can't really think about cooking steak at 11pm. You can fine tune this dish subtly, whereas you can't do that with a shepherd's pie.
Quantities? Whatever's in the fridge, always slightly too many ingredients. When I babysit - I've got three kids, 9, 7 and 3 - I get a bottle of wine out, put some pasta on. It's a perfect meal for one, and you can keep adding and experimenting. I used to be big on the fresh egg pasta, but I can't be bothered any more, so I go straight for penne out of the packet. Just bung it in. Being a sucker for spice, I'll add chilli (preferably Encona West Indian hot pepper sauce); invariably I'll overdo it - it should go in gradually. If I do tip into the next bottle of wine, I have a more cavalier attitude to spice - there's no stopping me till my face is ablaze. That's the extent of my cooking, the more pissed I am the more I think I can cook. Ends up with me on fire.
The kids can't eat this. I'll leave lots in the fridge, all labelled so they don't touch it. I'll make a special no-spice pasta for them.
If only I could eat pasta and Indian food for the rest of my life, I'd be happy."
Fry the button mushrooms, red peppers and chopped bacon together in one pan. At the same time bring penne pasta to the boil in another pan. When pasta is al dente and the mushrooms, peppers and bacon cooked through, add the pasta and mix with the red pesto sauce. Very quick - ready in 10 minutes. And as for quantities, that depends on how hungry you are.
Rowland Rivron's 'Jammin' is on Radio 2 from 2 October, 10-10.30pmReuse content