Friday, May 13, 2011

Pasta with Green Pea, Bacon and Parmesan Sauce

I love green peas, cheese, and oh yeah, BACON!  It's a good way to get your veggies and it sures says SPRING to me too. 
Not sure why this dish appealed to me, I am sure some of you will say "ick" for sure, especially if you don't like peas.  I've had this recipe for a while and not posted it because I just wasn't sure, but recently saw Rachel Ray do a show on three different pastas with vegetable sauces; carrot curry sauce, roasted red pepper and a pea sauce!  Maybe I wasn't so crazy!?! 

I did add bacon to my recipe, so it instantly takes precedent over Rachel's, right? My husband wasn't home the night I made this, but I sent some leftovers for his lunch.  I got a text at lunch today that said "wow, that pasta/bacon/pea thing is pretty wonderful"... that always makes my day, especially since he's kinda of spoiled when it comes to food!

(P.S. You can see I used Asiago instead of Parmesan, but both work!)

Serves 4
4-8 slices of bacon, cut up and fried crisp
3 Tbsp butter

1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 cup dry white wine*
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 pounds green peas, fresh or frozen, shelled
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup parmesan
Hot Pasta
Salt to taste

Fry up the bacon into mostly crisp pieces, drain and retain the bacon while you cook the sauce.

Using the same frying pan (drain off the excess bacon fat, or use it place of the butter!) to saute up the onions. Cook slowly over medium-low heat until the onions are translucent. Add wine* slowly, and reduce by half. Add 1 CUP (retain 1/2 cup if needed to thin the sauce later!!!) chicken stock, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. Add shelled peas to the simmering mixture. Cook for 1 minute.

*Note- Don't use Chardonnay, it tastes nasty when it reduces because of the oakiness in that wine.  I like Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier or Pinot Grigio.

Put HALF of the mixture into a blender, blend and add more chicken stock if needed to get a nice thick, but pourable consistency.  Pour back in the reserved mixture of whole peas and mix.  Add about 1/4 cup of cheese, using the rest of the cheese, and the bacon, to top the pasta before serving. 

Also,  I tried premixing the sauce with the pasta, and it doesn't look as pretty, but it might be easier to eat and have evvery bite be uniformly covered in sauce.  Here is the '2nd runner up' picture of that...

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