Orecchiette Pasta with Bacon, Peas & Herbs


Orecchiette Pasta with Bacon, Peas & Herbs


Each year, right around St. Patrick’s Day, my love affair with these lovely, little legumes is rekindled.  Maybe it is the bright kelly-green color they flash…green is a color we are craving right now.  Or maybe it is simply their tender, sweet crunch. Or better yet, they {a winter crop} are one of the first signs of Spring.  Although it is a bit early for Spring peas, frozen early peas yield quite a flavorful dish.  When prepared correctly {NOT a green-grey mushy mess}, they add a pop of color and nutrients {click here for an information download on peas}.  I recently came across this slideshow at Bon Appetit.com:  10 Things to do with Frozen Peas, which is where I got the recipe for tonight’s meal {as well as the lovely White Wine Spiked Peas we enjoyed on St. Patrick’s Day}.  Tonight’s  dinner was so easy to pull together.

***And {YES!}, I managed to chop the onion & bacon ingredients without a trip to the ER!***

This dinner is basically a simple pasta salad with peas, herbs and a bit of bacon…

Orecchiette with Bacon, Peas and Herbs {adapted from Bon Appetit.com}

  • 7 thick-cut slices of applewood-smoked bacon, diced
  • ½ of a large yellow onion, chopped & diced
  • 1½ cups frozen early, sweet peas
  • 1 pound dried Orecchiette pasta
  • freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • chopped leafy herbs ~ we used parsley & chives
  1. Cook diced, raw bacon in a {cast-iron} skillet over medium heat until just-browned.  Remove bacon pieces with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
  2. Add ¾ cup chopped yellow onion to the skillet {containing reserved bacon drippings} and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.  Then add the frozen peas and remove hot skillet from heat, stirring until peas are heated through, but still bright green in color.  Set skillet aside.
  3. Cook Orecchiette pasta until al dente {according to package directions…approximately 10 minutes}, reserving a cupful of cooking water…just in case.  Drain pasta and rinse, returning pasta to pot.
  4. Add the sautéed onions & peas {from the skillet} to the pasta pot as well as a few handfuls of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese & chopped leafy herbs.
  5. Add reserved pasta cooking water to loosen, as needed.
  6. Serve in individual bowls, topping with additional grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese  & herbs, according to taste.


The original recipe calls for cooking the bacon and then “crumbling” it for the final dish.  I prefer dicing the bacon first and then cooking the bacon pieces {in order to avoid over-cooked bacon}.



The final dinner plate…


Tonight’s dinner can be prepared in 30 minutes or less…which was just the dinner solution I needed this evening.  Yet, we still enjoyed a comforting, pasta dish, with a Spring vegetable, on a cool, damp, dreary evening here in Northern California.

As we approach the big horse trip to Southern California next week, I am trying to plan a dinner menu for the boys, most of which I can cook ahead, while planning something special for Easter.  You see, the girls and I  will be driving home from So. Cal. on Easter Sunday…visit me on Instagram Easter weekend to see what we scrounge up for Easter dinner on the road with the horses {carrots will, likely, be involved}!


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