Elena Davis is a true Italian cook with true Italian flair! Her website is one to bookmark come dinner time. You can check out all of her recipes at cucinabyelena.com.
A creamy bacon pasta gets even better when you add sweet peas.
This recipe is simple, flavorful, and oh-so-creamy. It combines little bursts of flavor from sweet peas and the crisp crunch of bacon or pancetta (you choose!). The best part? It all comes together in one pan in under 30 minutes.
Elena Davis shares the recipe for her family’s favorite weeknight meal, Sweet Pea and Bacon Pasta. If you listen close, you may also hear a pointer or two for how to put your reserve pasta water to good use!
Creamy Sweet Pea and Bacon Pasta
- 6 strips bacon or pancetta, cut into chunks
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- 2 cups petite peas
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmigiano cheese, more for topping
- 1 lb short pasta such as small shells
- 1/4 cup reserved pasta water
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Bring a large stockpot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions. (Important: When pasta is almost done cooking, use a measuring cup to remove and reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water)
- While pasta is cooking, heat a large saucepan or skillet over medium heat. When hot, add bacon and sauté until golden and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and reserve for later.
- Drain off all but a thin layer of bacon grease from the pan. Reduce heat under the pan to low-medium.
- Add butter and shallots. Sauté until shallots are tender, 3 minutes. Add in peas and cook for 3 more minute. Drain pasta and add reserved pasta water to the pan. Add cream. Stir to combine and bring to a low simmer until bubbly, about 3 minutes. The starches from the pasta water will thicken the cream slightly and create a yummy sauce.
- Take pan off heat. Add the parmigiano cheese and stir to combine. Add the hot pasta to the pan. Stir until incorporated. Top with bacon and stir slightly to keep the bacon on top and still crunchy. Add freshly ground pepper, if desired. Sprinkle with extra parmigiano cheese and serve hot! Mangia!