When talking about comfort food, pasta dishes are way up there on the list of food that is not only easy to prepare, but everyone enjoys and craves
Penne pasta, peas, and bacon. This quick, easy pasta dish takes as long as it takes to cook the pasta itself.
It is a savory combination of sweet green peas with crisp onions and bacon.
The heavy cream binds it all together, blending the flavors well. A wonderful savory dish that is perfect for any night of the week or a gathering with friends.
Last-minute dinner? This pasta recipe is your dish and will soon be your go-to dish.
In this Article
- Meatless dinner?
- Can I use cheese with this dish?
- Here are a few helpful tips for the ingredients needed
- Equipment needed
- Cooking tips and step by step on how to make this delicious penne pasta recipe:
- Serve it piping hot and immediately.
- Substitutions and some extra notes
- Frequently Asked Questions
- If you enjoy this Penne Pasta, Peas, and Bacon dish, look at some of my other recipes!
- Penne Pasta, Peas and Bacon
Yes, of course! Omit the bacon. Use olive oil and or butter to sautee the onions.
Add some sliced mushrooms. Rich and the perfect combination of bacon and heavy cream.
Fresh peas? Yes!! Cook them a little bit longer and make sure they are tender.
Can I use cheese with this dish?
Yes, of course, you can.
- Parmigiano Reggiano or pecorino cheese will do wonders, I just happen to choose not to use some. Please add as much as you like.
- If adding cheese add it when the cooked penne is poured over the heavy cream, peas, and bacon mixture.
- Grind a couple of rounds of pepper over the whole dish for a deeper flavor.
Parmigiano Reggiano is my favorite cheese with any Italian dish.
But the French side of me, which adores cheese, likes to play havoc, thus adding pecorino and ricotta Salata to this dish.
Here are a few helpful tips for the ingredients needed
Yellow onion – Sweeter and always add a layer of flavor to your dishes
Frozen peas – most accessible, and adding them to the pasta cooking water makes it effertlessy and gives that sweet flavor to your pasta
Bacon – I love thick slices that have more meat than the white fat part; sliced small will crisp up faster
Penne pasta – is my favorite; however, rigatoni, ziti, or orecchiette will also work.
Heavy cream – thickens when heated and acts as a binding agent to your pasta
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I only recommend what I use and love.
Large pot to cook your penne pasta
Large skillet to prepare your penne pasta sauce
Colander to drain your pasta
Cooking tips and step by step on how to make this delicious penne pasta recipe:
Have all the ingredients ready before cooking. This dish will be prepared relatively quickly and you do not want to be around the kitchen.
- Use a large skillet for cooking the onions and the bacon. The larger skillet will facilitate when you need to pour the pasta over and mix the sauce with the peas.
- Always salt the water to boil your pasta in it. This will give your pasta that wonderful flavor instead of biting into a piece of salt when added after cooking.
- Cook your penne pasta al dente, meaning, the pasta still has to have a bite when you test it. It will continue the cooking process when mixed with the creamy sauce.
- You do want to reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water if you want to have them creamier and do not want to add more heavy cream. The water contains the starch needed to be used with pasta.
- Use the bacon grease as it will give the best flavor to the onions when cooking together.
- I prefer to use yellow onions as they give out a rich flavor. White onions and shallots will work beautifully too.
- Add the frozen peas to the cooking water halfway thru the cooking process of the penne.
- I used penne pasta. However, conchiglie or orecchiette will do, also. You need a tubular or a cup type of pasta, so the sauce gets into the crevices and you enjoy it more.
Serve it piping hot and immediately.
The longer pasta sits, the softer it gets as the cooking continues.
Serve it in a large pasta bowl, as I have pictured here, or pour it immediately into large pasta bowls.
Let your guests add the amount of cheese they want over it.
As they say in Italy:
” Pasta does not wait for you. You wait for it”
Have your whole family ready to enjoy this excellent savory dish piping hot off the stove.
Substitutions and some extra notes
- For heavy cream substitutes, mix some cream cheese with whole milk. The heavy cream acts as a binding agent with the richness of the bacon and peas.
- Feta cheese can also be a good substitution for the ricotta Salata. However, you cannot grate it but need to shave it into small pieces.
- Use sausage meat removed from the casing to replace the bacon.
- If you want to add some garlic, go light with them. Too much garlic will change the flavor of this beautiful pasta, peas and bacon recipe.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is ricotta salata?
Fresh milk flavored with a hint of salt and aged thirty days.
Can I use Ricotta Salata with this recipe?
Yes, but with a note of caution. When using ricotta salada, which in Italian means salted, do not overeat your dish until the last minute after you taste it.
Why penne pasta is the best?
Due to the round tubular shape and with diagonal cuts at either end, it is always served with dishes that have a thick, creamy sauce that penetrates the tube and holds the sauce well. It’s also a great pasta to use with baked dishes.
If you enjoy this Penne Pasta, Peas, and Bacon dish, look at some of my other recipes!
Equipment used to make this dish
Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Iron Handle Skillet, 10.25" (1-3/4 qt.), White
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12/07/2023 10:30 am GMT
Penne Pasta, Peas and Bacon
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the pasta. Halfway thru cooking the pasta, add the frozen peas to the water. Refer to package cooking instructions minus 1 minute so the penne pasta will be at dente.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, add the olive oil over medium-high, and add the finely diced onions and the bacon. Cook until the bacon and onions are crisp but not burned.
- Drain the pasta and peas and add them to the onion bacon mixture. Lower the heat to medium and add the heavy cream.
- Stir well, add more cream if needed and serve immediately.
Giangi’s Kitchen provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as a registered dietician does not calculate them.
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