This recipe is sort of a pasta puttanesca, made of random things I had in my pantry and fridge one day. Peas and bacon are a classic combo, and this dish builds on that pairing with traditional Italian ingredients.
The artichokes add meatiness and the shallots add a slight crunch. Then, the mint brings a fresh pop that complements the peas, and the lemon brightens all the flavors. The red pepper flakes merge with the bacon to create an otherworldly taste (see also: Chinese chili oil), and cheese on pasta is just mandatory deliciousness.
I like this dish hot (gluten-free pastas are not great cold), and it’s killer with a good rosé. Eat it as a main course or as a side to a dish like my herby chicken thighs. Enjoy!
Bacon Pea Parm Pasta
- ½ pound thick-cut bacon, about 8 slices
- 8 ounces rotini pasta
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 tablespoons shallots, thinly sliced
- 12 ounces marinated artichoke hearts
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1½ cups Parmesan cheese, grated
- Salt to taste
- Squeeze of lemon
- 12 mint leaves
- Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line baking pan with foil and lay bacon strips side-by-side. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until bacon has reached desired crispiness. Transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions, making sure to salt the water and stir occasionally.
- Strain pasta, rinse with cold water and return to pot over low heat. Add frozen peas, shallots, salt and red pepper, stirring until peas heat through and plump up.
- Roughly chop cooled bacon and add to pot, along with artichokes and cheese, stirring until all ingredients are heated through and cheese is nice and melty.
- Transfer pasta mixture to large bowl and garnish with mint and lemon juice.