Starter: Serves 3-4, Total time: 30 mins
Pasta salads are one of the great faux pas of modern convenience food. It's not that pasta cannot be eaten cold, just that it needs to be dressed moments before you eat it, being, as it is, an old soak that will, with time, drink whatever sauce you throw at it. This is designed to be eaten petulantly warm or at room temperature. Avocado and bacon are magical partners, and here the pan is deglazed with port to provide a dressing for the pasta.

200 g orecchiette pasta
25 unsalted butter
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
200 g unsmoked lardons or >
sliced streaky bacon
125 ml port
sea salt, black pepper
a couple of squeezes of
lemon juice
2 avocados
6 tbsp coarsely chopped
flat-leaf parsley

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the orecchiette and give it a stir. At the same time, heat the butter and olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and sauté the lardons, stirring frequently until crisp and golden. Remove them to a bowl and spoon off all but a few tablespoons of the fat. Carefully add the port and some seasoning, and simmer to reduce it by half, scraping up all the sticky bits on the bottom. Add a squeeze of lemon juice to the pan juices. Quarter the avocados, removing the stone. Peel off the skin and slice the flesh into thin segments. Gently toss them in a bowl with a squeeze of lemon and a little salt.

Drain the pasta into a sieve, then briefly pass it under the cold tap and shake it dry. Add it to the frying pan, toss with the juices, then transfer it to a large shallow bowl or plate. Toss in the lardons, parsley, and finally the avocado. Taste to check the seasoning and serve.