Food, Recipes

Mini shell pasta with a creamy bacon and pea sauce

Nat’s cooked this a few times and kept telling me that I had to cook it one night.
It’s so quick and easy – couldn’t even take that many pics of the preparation
because it’s done in one pan and it was over before I started.

Mini shell pasta with a creamy bacon and pea sauce
by Jamie Oliver

Serves 4-6

10 slices smoked streaky bacon or pancetta, preferably free-range or organic
Small bunch of fresh mint
150g Parmesan cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Optional: 1 chicken stock cube, preferably organic
400g dried mini shell pasta
Olive oil
A knob of butter
300g frozen peas
2 heaped dessertspoons crème fraîche
1 lemon

To prepare your pasta
Finely slice the bacon
Pick the mint leaves and chop finely
Finely grate the Parmesan

To cook your pasta
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and drop in the stock cube (if using).
Stir until it’s dissolved, then add the mini shells and cook according to the packet instructions.

Get a large frying pan over a medium heat and add a good lug of olive oil and the
butter. Add the bacon to the pan, sprinkle a little pepper over and fry until golden
and crisp. As soon as the bacon is golden, add your frozen peas and give the pan
a good shake. After a minute or so, add the crème fraîche and chopped mint to
the bacon and peas.

Drain the pasta in a colander over a large bowl, reserving some of the cooking water.
Add the pasta to the frying pan. Halve your lemon and squeeze the juice over the
pasta. When it’s all bubbling away nicely, remove from the heat.

The sauce should be creamy and delicious but if it’s too thick for you, add a splash
of the reserved cooking water to thin it out a bit. Add the grated Parmesan and give
the pan a shake to mix it in.

To serve your pasta
Divide your pasta between plates or bowls, or put it on the table in a large serving
dish and let everyone help themselves. Lovely with a simply dressed green salad.

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4 thoughts on “Mini shell pasta with a creamy bacon and pea sauce

  1. Nat Cronje says:

    Ooophhhh! Actually salivating reading that. It’s a winner hey? Definitely in my Top 10 favourite pastas. I’ll be making it this Friday for Dave’s arrival. xx

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