Creamy Pasta with Peas and Bacon
Hi there! Autumn is upon us in the Midwest; makes me want to curl up with a side of bacon. Why? Perhaps it’s a primitive instinct to “fatten up” for the winter? Who knows, but I am craving me some bacon! This pasta dish has just enough bacon to satisfy, but not blow the diet. Bonus for me: Amelia and Guy both love it. You may make this dish less heavy with 2% milk which works lovely. Originally inspired by a Gordon Ramsay recipe.
I love how frugal and forgiving this dish is; it’s truly hard to mess up. (Just please do not over cook your pasta! Al Dente my dear.)
Sorry no pics at this time 😦 Camera kaput! I will add pics the next time we make it.
All measurements are approximate
- 2-4 slices of bacon (We like the nitrate free “Sunday Morning Bacon” from Whole Foods)
- 1 med sized Onion (yellow or white)
- 2 cloves of fresh garlic (you may also use powdered)
- 1 tsp all-purpose flour
- 2 oz of grated or shredded Parmesan cheese (or use whatever you may have on hand)
- 1/2 -3/4 cup milk, cream, soymilk (again whatever you have. Higher fat milk or cream will give you a more creamy finish)
- 1/2 cup reserved pasta water (when the pasta is about done scoop out a mug of the starchy cooking water.)
- 1/2-3/4 c frozen peas (or whatever veggie you like. Use common sense: pre-cook carrots, root veggies and the like before adding.)
- Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes to taste
- 1/2 lb shells, spirals. Again whatever you have works! (We like whole wheat pasta just remember it takes about 4 min longer to cook)
- Boil water for pasta and start cooking pasta per directions on box (minus about 2 min)
- Cook bacon until crisp and renders fat. Remove from pan.
- Dice onion and caramelize in the bacon fat.
- Add flour and make a roux of sorts with the bacon fat, onions, and part of the milk.
- Right before the pasta is done add in the garlic (garlic burns easily and is very bitter when over cooked.)
- Reserve your pasta liquid (you may not need this) and drain pasta (don’t rinse)
- Add pasta to the skillet, toss and add the remainder of milk. Reduce down for about 2 min add the cheese and cook until thick and creamy
- If it doesn’t thicken add a touch of the pasta water and stir. The starch in the water may help to thicken your sauce. Or if too thick, add more milk and a touch of pasta water to thin out.
- Add peas about right before serving to heat through.****Top with more shredded Parmesan cheese and fresh cracked pepper.