Broccoli and bacon alfredo with caramelized onion and garlic bread

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I always default to making a carbonara when I have cream that needs using but my body was screaming out for greenery, so I went in search of the biggest broccoli I could find and then hunted for a good recipe, this is what I found broccoli and bacon alfredo. A surprisingly light dish for so much cream, butter and cheese. Either served hot or cold the next day for lunch and even better with some home made fancy garlic breads using spare mixture from my jam recipe.

Recipe (serves a hungry 2 with leftovers for lunchboxes)
500g penne pasta
1 medium head of chopped broccoli
5 slices bacon, diced
250g diced speck
100g butter
200ml of sauce cream
50g grated fresh Parmesan
fresh peeled garlic cloves depending on taste

Flatbreads
Caremelized onion, roasted garlic and thyme mixture
One or two ready made flat breads
Olive oil

Preparation and cooking time 30mins
Boil a pan of hot water with a dash of salt and add the broccoli to a steamer pan above to steam through, or boil in a separate pan if necessary. Cook both the pasta and broccoli until al dente.
Coat the flat breads with the onion and garlic mixture and lightly drizzle with olive oil and some cracked black pepper and place in the oven until crisp.
Meanwhile in a frying pan press the garlic and fry off with the speck until crispy, then add the cream, butter and Parmesan and stir into a smooth sauce.
Drain the pasta and broccoli and mix in a big serving dish until everything is lightly coated with the sauce.
Serve with a generous sprinkle of cracked black pepper and freshly grated Parmesan and use your flat bread to dip in any left over sauce.

Variations
You could add grilled chicken to this dish if you wanted the extra protein and you don’t have to use Parmesan, any good hard Italian cheese would suffice.

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