recipe: bacon and tomato rigatoni – syn free

Bacon and tomato rigatoni – it’s a quick meal to throw together with the added bonus of some aubergine in there so you can ‘get your speed’ and all that pap. Full confession: this is inspired by a Hello Fresh meal we had. We’re trying out Hello Fresh whilst we’re stuck at Chubby Towers Adjacent because there’s not much of a kitchen here and it was getting to the point where we were on first name terms with the entire roster of the Just Eat delivery drivers. It sounds amazing eating takeaway every day but once Paul’s lips had turned blue from the effort of shaking the drips off after a piss, we needed to change. We aren’t being paid by Hello Fresh – indeed, somehow, Paul managed to be the only person in the entire world to pay full price for his first box – but we will keep you informed as to how we go. So far, so good! Don’t you fret, though, the meals on here will always be Slimming World friendly, and this bacon and tomato rigatoni is a good example of that! Take a look:

bacon and tomato rigatoni

Oh, and this bacon and tomato rigatoni is excellent for lunches!

Anyway. How are you all coping with the kids being at home during these difficult times? Because, frankly, it must be bloody awful for you. I have made no secret on here that I am terrible with children. They can’t tell good jokes, they’re rubbish at fetching things and they command your attention all the time. I’ve already got myself for that. Babies get angry and poo all the time (and seem destined to get troubling maladies like cradle cap – a friend of mine had a baby recently and I genuinely thought she had popped out a giant rice crispie), toddlers bump into things and shout, children need clothes and feeding and teenagers – from my own experience – are whirlwinds of emotions and Lynx Africa. Nope.

The reason I mention children is that I overheard an absolute belter this morning. A very prim and proper looking family (you know the type surely, Dad will be an accountant in a failing regional firm, mum will spend her evening writing lengthy diatribes about perceived supermarket injustices on Mumsnet) were in front of me when I went to collect breakfast. There was ever so much noise as you’d expect with two children in tow, with the youngest shouting Mummy over and over again and being largely ignored save by me who tutted and made a show of turning up the volume on my earbuds*. This went on for at least five hateful minutes before he shouted MUUUUUUMMY one last time and then loudly declared that he ‘needed a big shit’. Well: they are looked mortified and I had to feign a good old corona-cough into my elbow to mask my laughter. If I had a child, that’s the kind of kid I want.

* nothing makes me feel older and in the way than trying to change songs on my Samsung Earbuds. You have to tap three times to move back a song, and double tap to move forward. I just can’t get the hang of the tapping, and as a result I’m left walking down the street swearing furiously to myself whilst tap-tap-tapping at my ears like a fucking woodpecker. Honestly, I long for the days of my JAMP3 player where I had to agonise over which twelve Limp Bizkit songs to put on it and then cut about town holding what looked like a radon detector in my hands.

Children is something that will never happen, though. Can you imagine the resulting mess that would come about from Paul and I blurting into a test-tube together and getting it fertilised? If we were lucky we’d end up with a child who inherited my humour and height together with Paul’s fabulous eyebrows and exhaustive intellect but readers, we’re not lucky. The little bugger would get my “designed by Frank Gehry” nose, Paul’s pig-trotter feet, my total irrationality and some bizarre combination of the very worst of all our features. In short, our child would look like a badly-faxed photo of Ann Widdecombe, and that’s something this world doesn’t need.

I’ll concede on one aspect of having children around that I would like: taking them to magical places like Disney. I bet that’s an amazing feeling seeing their faces light up with joy and wonder. But see, that feeling would soon sour when we left them in the car with the window down whilst we went shrieking round the teacups. It’s just too much responsibility for a man for whom keeping a basil plant alive for two weeks is his crowning achievement in fatherhood.

Luckily, I have a nephew who I can deign to visit on occasion, and he’s really not bad for a mewling bespectacled hellion, though I’m reminded that I made the correct life choices within four minutes of being in his presence. If children came with an off button I’d be far more inclined to consider one, but the endless volume is really too much for my old ears.

Anyway. That’s quite enough chatter for now. Shall we get to the bacon and tomato rigatoni? We ought to: it’s really very good.

bacon and tomato rigatoni

If you’re not a fan of bacon in the bacon and tomato rigatoni, swap it out for chorizo!

bacon and tomato rigatoni

You can all sorts of vegetables into the bacon and tomato rigatoni, but this works jut fine as it is for Slimming World.

bacon and tomato rigatoni




Yield 4 servings

We seem to have hit a bit of a run with pasta recipes here at twochubbycubs but I shan't apologise for it. No no. See, quick meals you can throw together with whatever shite you have in the fridge is our raison d'être and frankly, this bacon and tomato rigatoni is very much one of those. We have, of course, tweaked it slightly for Slimming World. But damn does it taste good!


  • 2 aubergines
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 300g plum tomatoes, halved
  • 80g reduced fat feta cheese, crumbled (use your HEA!)
  • 400g dried rigatoni
  • 120g bacon medallions, diced
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp dried crushed chillis


  • first, preheat your grill to high and bring a large pan of salted water to the boil
  • as those are heating up, halve your aubergines lengthways, then slice slice each half into centimetre long strips, then slice the other way for cute little 1cm cubes
  • spread the aubergine cubes out onto a baking sheet into a single layer and spray with a little oil, and sprinkle with a little bit of salt
  • place under the grill and cook for about 10 minutes, then turn and cook for another ten minutes
  • as that's going on, cook the pasta according to the instructions
  • meanwhile, spray a large frying pan with a bit of oil and place over a high heat
  • add the bacon and cook for 5-6 minutes, until crispy
  • reduce the heat to medium high and add the onion, and cook until soft (about 4 minutes, stirring frequently)
  • add the garlic and the chilli flakes to the pan, stir, and cook for another minute 
  • add the tin of chopped tomatoes and stir
  • reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • once the aubergine is cooked, stir it into the pasta sauce
  • meanwhile, place the cherry tomatoes onto the same tray you used for the aubergine, spray with a bit of oil, and crumble over the feta. Pop under the grill for 4-5 minutes
  • when the pasta is cooked, drain and add to the tomato sauce with the grilled plum tomatoes, and stir
  • serve to gasps of amazement


The dish

  • diced aubergine really helps to pad this out and make it go further, and tastes bloody lovely
  • you can swap out the bacon for chorizo if you like

The books

  • our slimming cookbook can be ordered online now – full of 100+ slimming recipes, and bloody amazing, with over 2400 5* reviews – even if we do say so ourselves: click here to order
  • our new diet planner is out now and utterly brilliant – you can order it here – thank you to everyone so far for the positive feedback!


  • nothing fancy needed for this recipe, but if you need some new lunchboxes for work, the SISTEMA ones we use are currently on sale at time of writing - click here!

Courses dinner

Cuisine pasta

Tasty stuff! Once you’ve had your fill of syn free bacon and tomato rigatoni, why not spin the wheel on our other pasta dishes? Here’s links to ten syn-free dishes!



slow cooker honey buffalo meatballs

You might be thinking what the fuck is a buffalo meatball, and am I going to get kicked in the head when I try and retrieve them, but just calm your tits: it’s just a name for the sauce. We will get to the recipe in no time at all, but first, an announcement and a trio of unfortunate events. Forgive an advert right off the bat, but it’s only for 24 hours so have to mention it! Feel free to skip the next paragraph if you’re not interested! Look, I’ll even put a wee line in!

ANNOUNCEMENT: flash sale time on the Musclefood Freezer Filler we do: an extra 15% off our package which contains 5kg of chicken breast that doesn’t shrink like a cold willy, 2kg of syn-free extra lean mince, 700g of fat-free bacon and 800g of diced beef – perfect for making all of our recipes with. You get it for £42.50 delivered! We use Musclefood for all of our meat and can’t fault them – if you’re already a fan, you’ll know how good they are. You’ll need to use code TCCFLASH50 instead of TCCFREEZER and it’s only for 24 hours. You can order now for future delivery and you’ll only pay the discounted rate, so even if your freezer is full, stick in an order whilst it’s dirt-cheap. Click here to place your order – it’ll open in a new window.

Firstly: I’d like to apologise to the owner of the luridly yellow Audi that sometimes parks in a location I can’t disclose somewhere on my walk into work. See, here’s the thing. The way I walk in takes me down some lovely tree-lined streets, all of which are bursting with autumn colours right now and all of which are shedding their leaves quicker than a chav sheds their knickers when offered a bag of chips. It’s glorious: Autumn is my favourite time of year: cold enough to make your nipples hard but not so cold they turn black and fall off. Plus bonfires and all that crap.

Anyway, as I walk along, full with the joy of a full day of work ahead of me, I like to revert back to childhood and kick all the leaves about that have thoughtfully amassed themselves into piles by the road. I appreciate I must look like I’ve wandered away from a guide where each person has two people looking after them, but I don’t care. It brings me happiness. Not today, though, no – I was merrily kicking along like an out-of-shape can-can dancer when my boot made contact with a freshly-crimped dog-shit that had clearly just been hidden under the leaves by the dog’s owner. I don’t know what the fuck they had been feeding this dog but honestly, that dog must have been bloody relieved to get this out of him. I’m surprised my steel-capped boot didn’t have a dent in it, nevermind the smear of faeces that now adorned it.

That said, I didn’t fare as badly as the owner of the aforementioned yellow car because not only had I discovered this hidden poo but also managed to send it soaring in a graceful arc right over the street, where it splattered messily all over the rear passenger door of the Audi.

I felt terrible. Admittedly, my guilt was somewhat assuaged by the fact it was an Audi, but still. No-one needs that first thing in the morning. It was a genuine accident, of course, and it’s not like I could nip over and start trying to wipe it off with a credit card and a bottle of Evian, so I had to powermince the fuck out of there. I’m sorry, Mr or Mrs Audi driver, for the bewildering and Chum-scented start to your day.

Secondly: I was made to feel like an absolute leper the other day, and I want to get it off my chest. Newcastle has a very famous department store which is full of all sorts of fancy things and occasionally, they’ll have a sale event on. Smashing. I’ve long since accepted that I’ll never fit into any of their lovely clothes but I’m literally a big boy, I can deal with that. No, to make up for that, I buy a lot of expensive aftershave. I dress like a collapsed mine but I smell absolutely amazing, assuming you’re not too close to my taint, which smells like a carrion flower. The most expensive disaster that could befall our house is the bathroom shelf collapsing.

So, full of excitement that I could save £40 on a £200 bottle of aftershave, in I went to enquire whether they’d be taking part in the shop-wide promotion (they’re a private store within the store, hence my confusion). I lurched over and asked the question and I swear to God, her response couldn’t have been more devastating – she looked me up and down in much the same way I imagine that Audi driver was looking at their car door – and practically spat out that their products never go in a sale and anyway, they’re terribly expensive. The implication that me standing there with my non-designer stubble, cheap shoes and fag-bag that I’ve had since college would never be able to afford such luxury. I was really taken aback and muttered a thank you, slinking away in the safe and certain knowledge that I’d never return to that concession stand and that she could stick her aftershave right up her arse.

Had I been a bit quicker I should have reached over, run my finger through the two inches of her make-up and told her it was probably the commission from my purchases that had enabled her to pay for and paint-roller the entire Boots No 7 range onto her face at once. Still, it’s easy to be wise after the event.

Finally, in this trilogy of woe, we’ve done a video. See, we love writing the blog, and we receive so many lovely comments about the food, our style, the writing, it makes it all worthwhile. But recently we’ve been enduring a glut of messages from some random loon who complains about the fact we occasionally use gay euphemisms and bad language on here. I’ve said it before so many times: this is a personal blog, not a slimming recipe blog – the recipes are a bonus extra at this point. I write because I enjoy it, but I thought this required a personal apology. Have a look:

Great, out of all the thumbnails to use, it chooses a frame where it looks like I’m shooting my load. Ha! I posted this on Facebook and we received so many messages of support, it was terrific. We do love you all, you know. Quite a few people said I sound a lot posher than expected, which was surprising, and others said I sound like a gay Jimmy Nail. How does that work? Bitch, those crocodile shoes are faaaaabulous? 

Anyway, I’d welcome your thoughts. Until then, let’s do the recipe, shall we? Yes, it has syns, but you know what? It also has flavour. Can you say the same about whatever syn-free slop you’re troughing down tonight? Makes enough for four.

to make slow cooker honey buffalo meatballs you will need:

for the meatballs

Don’t have all those spices? Don’t sweat it. Make do with what you’ve got.

for the honey buffalo sauce

  • 2 tbsp Frank’s Red Hot Original sauce (2 syns)
  • 2 tbsp honey (5 syns)
  • 2 tbsp no added sugar apricot jam (2 syns)
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 4 tsp cornflour (2 syns)

Can’t be arsed clitting about trying to find Frank’s sauce? I understand. Any ‘hot’ sauce will do.

to make slow cooker honey buffalo meatballs you should:

  • preheat the oven to 230°c and line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper
  • mix together all of the meatball ingredients until well combined
  • roll the meatballs into about 15-18 little meatballs
  • place the balls onto the baking sheet and back in the oven for 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned
  • meanwhile, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients
  • tip the meatballs into the slow cooker until the bottom is covered – if you have more left over don’t worry – just layer them after the next step
  • drizzle over the sauce mixture, layer with extra meatballs (if necessary) and then the remaining sauce
  • cook on a low heat for 2 hours, stirring gently halfway through
  • serve with whatever you like!

You could totally make this in a normal pan, or an Instant Pot, or an old oil-drum tipped on its side. It’s versatile. Want a recommendation for a slow cooker? Naturally. You don’t need to spend a lot of money for a decent one – Aldi and Asda were selling them cheap recently, and they’re much of a muchness. That said, Amazon currently has a cracking deal on a Morphy Richards number which allows you to sear your meat like the filthy slattern that you are!

Still got a hole that hasn’t been filled? Click below to get more recipes!

beefsmallfakeawayssmall pastasmall   snackssmall slowcookersmalltastersmallsoupsmallbbqsmallonepot 

Gosh, that’s a lot of choice!


christmas wishes and an apple kentucky mule

Apple Kentucky Mule is at the bottom, but first, some words from the Queen.

Christmas is over for another year. How was it for you? Are you now officially wider than you are tall? Are you so sick of Christmas that you could cheerfully and without delay punch Santa Claus right in the balls? You monster. Have a week of rest and make 2017 the year to change everything. Just like 2016, 2015, 2000, 1995…

I had a genuinely lovely Christmas – Paul and I woke around 9am, realised it was a god-awful time to be alive and went straight back to sleep, snoring and farting and grunting our way to 11am, at which time the world seemed a lot more welcoming. I dispatched him straight to the kitchen to make bacon sandwiches (cheese topped roll, tomato chutney, bacon with so much fat on it that Sharshina Bramwell would explode in a fit of hair lacquer and half-smoked Carltons that you know she keeps tucked behind her ear) whilst I dozed for a bit longer. We had our sandwiches and exchanged presents in front of a Crystal Maze repeat. We both (unusually) stuck to our agreed present limits but somehow I managed to justify buying a new bottle of Tom Ford Oud Wood “for the house”, the way that others may buy a new candle or a doormat. What-am-I-like. We then wrapped up* the quarter-tonne of presents we’d bought our nephew (honestly, I felt like Challenge Anneka when she used to turn up at the orphanage with a lorry of gifts) and then made our way over to our parents where we opened all of our gifts and immediately set about fattening ourselves up.

* I say we wrapped presents. What actually happened was Paul was on sellotape duty whilst I farted about doing all of the folding and wrapping and cutting. I hate wrapping presents. I do! If it was socially acceptable to hand over gifts in a Netto bag with their name scrawled haphazardly over the top in Sharpie I’d do exactly that. I was furious inside watching my nephew tearing away at my delicate wrapping – I missed most of the industrial zone wrapping that Kinetic Sand, you little stinker.

My parents had built a grotto in the garden for the benefit of my nephew – this being the first Christmas he’ll remember – and actually, despite my cynicism about these things, it was really lovely. Pine trees, twinkling lights, a heated gazebo, music playing – a fantastic effort. Even my cold, icy heart melted. Christmas last year felt slightly off because my nana wasn’t at the table proclaiming that ‘this’ll be my last Christmas’ and ‘I’m not going to make another year’ – you know, the cheery statements of the elderly. She had the last laugh though – two years ago she was bang on the money. Christmas isn’t the same without having to repeat what you say four times over until you’re bellowing like you’re caught in a house fire and she’s holding the phone. Christ, I remember one Christmas a couple of years ago when she slumped dramatically in her chair and we all looked aghast at each other thinking she’d died in the middle of eating her one sprout and chipolata (“that’ll do for me Christine, I’m not a big eater”). It was like Helen Daniels all over again, only Paul was too fat to play Hannah.

Turns out she’d just dozed off and, because she had one of those fabulous NHS hearing aids that was of equal use to her whether she was wearing it or had left it at home, couldn’t hear our plaintive cries to wake her. She was lucky – the way my dad with clearing up she was fortunate not be have been buried in the garden “to save time” before the cheeseboard came around.

One thing I can take away from yesterday is that my mother is turning into my nana, at least on the food front. As usual with Christmas, everyone buys enough food to last us through a nuclear winter, nevermind a British one. I can’t open a cupboard without eight hundred gaily-decorated packets of crackers and biscuits and crisps and oatcakes and pickles and nuts and Pringles and sweets and mints and Bombay mix and tinned olives and breadsticks and chocolates cascading down onto me like I’m in Fun House: Obesity Edition. Christmas dinner was the usual spread of gorgeous food all shovelled down with booze and er, in my case, Vimto. I was driving, and anyway, when do you ever get a chance to have Vimto? Mother’s gone to Farmfoods! I’d no sooner managed to see my plate through my pile of food then my mum started piping up with ‘have a bit more turkey’ or ‘have another tureen of veg, it’ll not get eaten’. I swear, for all her concerned protestations that Paul and I are looking fat, she was determined to have us break at least one wooden chair before we left.

Christmas pudding followed, accompanied by cream and more food-pushing (have a bit of tiramisu, have some profiteroles, have some more cream) and then, just as I was fully expecting to start leaking mashed potatoes from my ears and start coughing up barely digested sprouts, out comes the cheese platter. Now listen, Paul and I love a cheese-board. We do. We may have accidentally worked our way through a six-person cheeseboard from Marks and Spencers only the night before. But we have limits, and frankly, when I’ve eaten so much cheese that my poo is coming out the same colour, consistency and indeed smell as a Cheesestring, we need to rest. But no! Old Mother Cub (?) was cutting off a bit of this for us and a bit of that for us and try this relish and have some crackers. Most people like to finish a good meal with coffee and perhaps a cigar – my mother seems to think a meal isn’t complete without one of her guests being ambulanced to hospital with chest pains. I was as full as a fat man’s sock.

Final thought from the day? I look at my nephew now, all full of chatter and wonder, and think that I’d like a child for the house. Don’t get me wrong, I’d tire of any child after thirty minutes and sadly, it isn’t like you can pack them away in a cupboard anymore, but it would be fun to see Christmas and Easter and all that fun stuff through their eyes. Towards the end of the day he had managed to find and consume an entire family-sized bag of sugary sour worms and it was as all that sugar was kicking in that we bid our goodbyes. My sister, an excellent, patient mum who thankfully has managed to evade the temptation to change her name on FB to Deborah ‘Mammyofspecialone’ Surname, had that joy to deal wth. Mahaha! We get to be the fun uncles who swoop in with gifts, e-numbers and presents and then get to leave just as the Kinetic sand is being trod into the carpet and he’s doing a loud, continuous impression of a police car.

It really was a great day. We came home, watched Doctor Who (pap), Eastenders (rubbish) and then fell asleep during Corrie. We don’t watch the soaps during the year so god-knows why we inflict them upon ourselves at Christmas but see, that’s exactly why – because it’s Christmas. I hope you all had a lovely one!

Eee Christ, I sat down this morning to write the fourth part of our Switzerland trip but we’re already at 1,200 words. Let’s leave it here for now and I’ll crack on with Switzerland over the next few days. In the meantime, here’s another – yeah that’s right, another – recipe for you guys. Not going to lie, this doesn’t exactly need cooking, but by god it’ll make the night go faster…

apple kentucky mule

to make an apple kentucky mule you will need:

  • handful of ice cubes
  • 35ml bourbon (4 syns)
  • juice of half a lime
  • 100ml apple juice (2.5 syns)
  • 100ml diet ginger beer

to make apple kentucky mule you should:

  • mix it all together
  • get hammered
  • nosh off your boss

Oh you filthy mare!

More drinks recipes? Of course!