The Ultimate Pasta With Bacon and Peas

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5 from 10 votes

The Ultimate Pasta with Bacon and Peas is made with no cream! Pasta water, olive oil, and parmesan cheese add the perfect touch of creaminess, accentuating the smokiness of the bacon and sweetness of the peas. The addition of shallots and garlic make for a real pasta party in your mouth!

Orecchiette is the perfect pasta shape that “cups” each ingredient, so every bite is just as good as the bite before.  

Ingredients

  • Orecchiette – orecchiette is the ultimate pasta for this dish! Its small ear shape “cups” all the ingredients, so every bite you take has a little bit of everything.
  • Bacon – I really like Applewood smoked bacon, but you can use any kind that calls to you!
  • Frozen peas – I recommend frozen peas since they are so sweet and tender, but you can use fresh peas if preferred!
  • Shallots – shallots add texture and a bit of sharpness to cut the richness of bacon.
  • Garlic – garlic…no explanation needed.
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano (or parmesan) cheese – parmesan cheese adds a salty nuttiness, and when finely grated, a creaminess!
  • Extra virgin olive oil – olive oil adds flavor and moistness.
  • Pasta water – pasta water reserved at the final stage of the cooking pasta will add creaminess to the dish.
  • Black pepper – a generous amount black pepper adds a little kick and a herbaceous warmth that I love!

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Orecchiette – substitute penne for orecchiette.
  • Bacon – substitute diced pancetta or prosciutto for bacon.
  • Frozen peas – substitute fresh peas for frozen peas.
  • Shallots – substitute a small yellow onion for shallots.
  • Parmesan cheese – substitute grana padano for parmesan cheese.
  • Black pepper – substitute red pepper flakes for black pepper.

What Is Orecchiette?

Orecchiette is a small ear-shaped pasta that’s particularly popular in Southern Italy.  

It is the ultimate shape for pasta with bacon and peas because each piece holds (“cups”) each ingredient, making every bite a perfect one!

How to Pronounce Orecchiette

In Italy, Orecchiette is pronounced “oh-reck-key-YET-teh” translating to “small ear” in Italian.

How to Keep Pasta From Sticking

When your pasta is al dente, save your pasta water, drain the pasta and immediately add the pasta to the separate pot with bacon and peas. Stir.

Using your pasta right away will prevent drained pasta from sticking to each other!

Tips

  • Reserve pasta water right before you drain the pasta, so the water is extra starchy.
  • Add boiled pasta to the large pot that you cooked the bacon and peas in, so all of those pan drippings are mixed into the pasta!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long does bacon pasta last in the fridge>

Enjoy any leftovers within 4 days!

What’s the best way to reheat pasta?

In the microwave, cover and reheat with a splash of olive oil on increments of 30 seconds. Stir every increment until hot! On the stove in a pot, add a splash of olive oil and heat on medium-low until hot. Stir every few minutes.

What to Serve With Bacon Pea Pasta

I like to serve pasta with a Shredded Brussel Sprout Salad, Simple Cucumber Tomato Salad, Red Cabbage Salad with Crispy Fried Onions, or Sautéed Broccolini!

More Bacon Recipes on Tastefully Grace

The Ultimate Pasta With Bacon and Peas

The Ultimate Pasta with Bacon and Peas is made with no cream! Pasta water, olive oil, and parmesan cheese add the perfect touch of creaminess, accentuating the smokiness of the bacon and sweetness of the peas.
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: bacon, dinner, easy dinner, pasta, peas, spring, winter
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 988kcal
Author: TastefullyGrace

Ingredients

  • 1 pound orecchiette pasta
  • 12 ounces bacon diced
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 3 medium shallots finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove minced
  • ½ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or parmesan, plus more to garnish
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup reserved pasta water
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  • Cook bacon in a large dry pot over medium heat until crispy.
  • Remove bacon from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside in a separate bowl. Drain the liquid fat from your pot, leaving only the drippings (tiny little bacon pieces) in the bottom of the pot. Put pot back on stove and add in olive oil, garlic, and shallots. Turn heat to medium and sauté for 3-4 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, add pasta to boiling water in a separate pot. Cook to al dente according to box instructions.
  • Once shallots and garlic have sautéed, add in frozen peas and sauté over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes until peas are hot and bright green. Add bacon back in and black pepper. Stir and heat for 1 minute.
  • Use a ¼ cup measure to save some pasta water. Drain pasta and add to the pot with your bacon and peas. Stir.
  • Add in ¼ cup pasta water, parmesan, and salt to taste. Stir until combined.
  • Serve hot, in pasta bowls, with a spoon or fork!

Video

YouTube video

Notes

  • Reserve pasta water right before you drain the pasta, so the water is extra starchy.
  • Add boiled pasta to the large pot that you cooked the bacon and peas in, so all of those pan drippings are mixed into the pasta!

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 988kcal | Carbohydrates: 95g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 52g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 26g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 775mg | Potassium: 587mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 407IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 194mg | Iron: 3mg
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2 Comments

  1. June 24, 2022 / 3:29 pm

    5 stars
    Made it just as written- delicious!
    Going to have it today as a cold pasta salad with Italian dressing! Great find -light and refreshing no heavy sauce. My family loved it

    • TastefullyGrace
      Author
      June 24, 2022 / 5:25 pm

      Hi Terri,

      I am so happy to hear this! Thanks so much for letting me know 🙂

      Grace

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