This pasta started as a “use whatever I have lying around” kind of meal but actually turned out so much better than I thought it was going to. Super simple, pantry staples, comes together in no time! Quick, easy, and delicious.
It’s also super easy to sub out ingredients if you don’t have the same things lying around. No bacon? Add some chicken or just leave it out for a vegetarian option. No peas? Use broccoli! Any small-ish shape of pasta will work in place of the orecchiette – shells, bowties, penne, spirals. Use what you have!
But for the love of god make sure you save some pasta water before you drain it!
Orecchiette with Bacon and Peas
- 1/2 box orecchiette or similar sized pasta
- 3 slices bacon, diced
- 1 shallot sliced thin
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or microplaned
- 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
- to taste salt + pepper
- Boil pasta according to package directions in salted water. Save a cup or so of pasta water before you drain it!!!
- In a large cast iron skillet over medium heat, render your diced bacon until the pieces are crispy. Remove the bacon to a paper towel lined plate and set aside. Leave the fat in the pan.
- Add the shallots and garlic to the bacon fat and cook until tender, probably 3-4 minutes.
- Add the thawed peas, red pepper flakes, and the cooked pasta. Toss to combine. Cook together for another two or three minutes, then remove from heat.
- Pour in half of the reserved pasta water and sprinkle the cheese over top. Stir to combine. The cheese should start to melt and combine with the pasta water to form a glossy sauce. Add more pasta water if things aren't coming together nicely.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!