Pasta with Smoked Pork Belly and Black Olives and Breakfast in Biarritz

Driving through France on our little road trip we bought a few foodie souvenirs to remind us of Bordeaux. Some delicious wines, a piece of deliciously pungent cheese which we ate as part of a picnic and some wonderful cured pork belly. It was sold in a market from a butcher’s stall and was in the section with the salamis and cured meats. My French is a little rusty now but I think the lady who ran the stall was telling me that they cured it themselves and sold two versions – one smoked and one salted and peppered. Of course, we bought both!

I was too busy chatting to the butcher to take a snap, so here's one of the fish stall!
I was too busy chatting to the butcher to take a snap, so here’s one of the fish stall!

After leaving Bordeaux we stopped off for breakfast in Biarritz – it’s somewhere I had often hoped to visit and imagined the glamour of bygone days. It really was a quick pit stop but enough time to enjoy the beautiful coastal views and breakfast!

Le Petit Dejeuner
Le Petit Dejeuner

Back to the Pork Belly….It’s delicious cut into tiny pieces and enjoyed as a nibble with a glass of ice cold rosé wine. It’s equally wonderful when heated, in the same way you would use lardons. I made a quick, fresh tasting  pasta sauce to bring out the smokey flavour of this wonderful cut of meat and if you ever come across it…do buy some!

Pasta with Smoked Pork Belly (2)

Pasta Sauce to serve 2 people

  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 4 ripe tomatoes cut into small pieces (save the juices too)
  • 2 heaped teaspoons of tomato purée
  • About half a cup of chopped smoked pork belly (or use bacon or lardons)
  • Half a cup of chopped black olives
  • A good splash of white wine
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil

Put the water for your pasta on to boil and then start your sauce. Gently fry the garlic for a minute or two, until it starts to soften then add the tomatoes with their juices and cook for a couple of minutes until they start to break down. By now it’s probably time to put your pasta into the water, so go ahead, the rest of the sauce doesn’t take long.

Add the rest of the ingredients  and continue to simmer while the pasta cooks. Check and adjust the seasoning, drain the pasta and add the pasta to the sauce. Pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy your speedy and delicious meal.


48 thoughts on “Pasta with Smoked Pork Belly and Black Olives and Breakfast in Biarritz

  1. What wonderful memories you create with each trip to and from the UK.
    Hmm, reckon I would also have had to buy the smoked and salted pork belly.
    have a wonderful day Tanya.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  2. Kudos on the find and those inside out fish (Monk fish methinks?) that look like someone didn’t like their ugly mugs and set about turning them inside out in order to protect the more delicate societal members…makes you wonder what the monkfish are looking at now! 😉

    1. Yes, monkfish are so damned ugly – I think God (or whoever) made them that way so that s/he could have them all to himself in a great big Paradise Banquet….they look so bad and taste so good!

      1. J Never eaten snake (and don’t think I’m ever likely to unless stranded in the desert with nothing to eat but a snake and a cactus leaf) but it tastes pretty damn good!

      2. I would eat the cactus first, The Mexican’s call it Nopales…I reckon it would be a good option compared to the snake but apparently snake does taste pretty good 😉

      3. 😉 Looks like if we ever meet, say someplace midway in Africa, we won’t be fighting over our snake fondu 😉

  3. I’m glad that you took a little time to enjoy the ride home. You sure did bring home the best kind of souvenirs: wine, cheese, and pork products. Do you know of any part of the pig that isn’t good in pasta? Though I doubt I’ll ever find smoked pork belly, I know what to do with it if I ever do. Your dish sounds delicious, Tanya.

    1. I think we’ll have to buy some more of that smoked pork belly when we head back across France as I’ve never seen it anywhere else. Really enjoyed taking our time over the trip – it was a first but hopefully not a last for us! There is a food writer here, Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall and he writes the River Cottage Books. He talks about raising a pig and then slaughtering and butchering then cooking – he says he uses every part of the pig and if he could find a use for it, he’d use the ‘oink’!

  4. What a simple, tasty, appetizing recipe. Don’t think I could access the smoked pork belly either here in rural Australia [unless I discovered a friendly neighbour with a smoker and some knowledge!!] but Chgo John methinks is right that more than one pork product would do!! I personally love the addition of the olives – they would truly bring the flavour of the dish out for me 🙂 !

    1. You and John are so right – pork goes so well with pasta and chuck in a few olives….mmmmm! I’d love a smoker but not sure when I’d actually get any time to crank it up!

      1. Oh, talking of Hugh FW – we have a ‘River Cottage’ in Australia now also functioning very successfully and he seems to spend quite some time here! Like Rick Stein 🙂 !

      2. Two days later [hope you read past copies!] I am oh so laughing to read from ‘Mindfood’ that Heston Blumenthal is moving his ‘Fat Duck’ to Melbourne!!!!! Not that I am an afficionado, but!!!!!!!

      3. Me neither but have a pal who had the experience of eating at his place and he said it was a once in a lifetime thing and thoroughly worthwhile!

  5. Yummy! Love anything with olives and specially pasta! Is so great to bring back home foodie souvenirs from trips… We usually come back specially loaded from France, the long hours on the road pay back 🙂

  6. That does sound delicious! I am a big pork belly fan as so much of the pork we get these days is very lean and tasteless. I have found that there is an old breed of pig called Mangalitza which used to be known as the ‘lard’ pig which if you can find a farmer who raises old breeds is fantastic. Having said that I am cutting down a lot on the meat we consume over all, but I have a weakness for good charcuterie and would definitely leap on this if I saw it 🙂

    1. Am intrigued by the breed – will have to find out more! And like you, am eating less meat – would rather eat something really tasty and of great quality once in a while than meat that is not really doing me much good and is tasteless on a regular basis.

  7. Yum! Yum! Oh the joy of finding wonderful eats en route. I’ve just spent the morning pulling up all our finished tomato plants so your timing for simple pasta is perfect 🙂 …. I’ve even got some of the olives we marinated just before Christmas. Even more perfect with a chilled glass of something.

  8. It’s been so long since I went to France, just imagining your trip makes me long to go back. I haven’t ever been fortunate to try smoked pork belly, I love bacon so I can imagine it to be like that only.. better? Is it a softer texture?

    1. It was actually more the texture of a well cured salami, sort of chewu. Deliciously smokey and wonderful! France is such a beautiful country, we’re glad we’re taking the time to stop and briefly enjoy it on our journeys!

  9. I’ll try the pasta sauce , although it looks easy but I can not necessarily 😦
    because I can not memask.hahaha : p

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