I make this all the time, it's perfect as a topping for my 10 minute garlic pasta dish, amazing sprinkled over salads and goes brilliantly as a topping for a butternut squash soup. It's also pretty damn great just to eat it by the handful in the kitchen when no one is looking.
I use bacon "bits" from my butcher which are essentially the off cuts left from them slicing their bacon. Bits are a mixture of smoked and unsmoked and about 75% cheaper than buying rashers of bacon but rashers or panchetta both work brilliantly, they are just much more expensive. Dried garlic slivers can be picked up in Asian and eastern European supermarkets, again they're really cheap. I prefer to use dried as you get a really sweet and chewy piece of garlic once it's cooked in the bacon fat whereas fresh will burn very easily so you need to cook it for twice as long at the lowest heat setting possible if you choose to use it instead.
- bacon, chopped up ( a couple of handfuls usually)
- 1 tablespoon dried fennel seeds.
- 1 handful dried garlic slivers
- 2 red chillies, sliced (I add the seeds too because I like it hot)
Put your chopped bacon and fennel seeds in a non stick saucepan or frying pan on a low heat setting to render the fat. After about 5 minutes add your sliced chilli and garlic slivers and continue to cook really gently until it your bacon is crispy.