Pasta with Creamy Bacon and Pea Sauce

After being glued to the TV every Friday night to watch Jamie Oliver work his magic on Food Revolution, Billy and I decided it was time to go pick up his latest book and get some new British inspiration. Jamie’s Food Revolution Cookbook is full of simple, flavorful and (most of all) healthful meals that are accessible to any home cook in America. Much like the show did for public schools, Jamie’s Food Revolution helps the average American rediscover what healthy, home-cooked eating is all about, without skimping on flavor.

The first recipe we tried from the food revolution cookbook was this pasta with bacon and peas in a creamy sauce. I think this recipe is proof that you don’t have to cut out things you love (like carbs and creamy goodness) to eat healthy — everything is acceptable in moderation.

Pasta with Creamy Bacon and Pea Sauce

{Print this Recipe}
Here’s what you’ll need:
Serves: 4
- 1 pound small shaped pasta
- 1 to 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 to 2 tbsp butter
- 10 slices bacon or pancetta, cut into short, thin slices
- 2 cups frozen peas
- 2 heaping tbsp creme fraiche
- small bunch of fresh mint, finely chopped
- salt and pepper
- juice of 1 lemon
- 6 oz. Parmesan cheese

Instructions:
This is another recipe with a really simple sauce, so before you start any really cooking you want to bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and drop your pasta. Make sure to reserve a cup or so of the cooking water. We started cooking the sauce as the water began to boil and the timing seemed to work out perfectly.

In a large, high-sided pan, melt the butter and olive oil together over medium heat. Toss the bacon into the pan with some pepper and cook until crispy and golden brown, about five minutes. Add the peas to the pan, stirring to combine. Give the peas a minute or two to defrost, then add the creme friache and mint. Stir until the creme friache has melted and coated everything nicely. Season with salt and pepper.

Drain the pasta and add it directly to the sauce pan. Pour the lemon juice over the pasta and stir everything to combine well, making sure the sauce coats each piece of pasta nicely. Finally, mix in the Parmesan cheese. Add some of the cooking liquid to thin out the sauce if desired (this is based totally on personal preference…we didn’t add any water).

Orecchiette with Bacon and Peas in a Creamy Sauce

This is really a great recipe — something different, yet familiar. The combination of the creme friache and Parmesan made for an extra creamy sauce that wasn’t too heavy. The mint brought a great springy, fresh flavor to the pasta without overpowering it, and the peas burst in your mouth in every bite. The bacon gave the whole dish a light smokey flavor, but I think next time I’d opt for pancetta in place of it (Billy disagrees). This is a great creamy pasta dish for those who fine traditional cream sauces too heavy, and a great dish for spring and summer months. I think it would also be great with some grilled Italian sausage.

Check out this (and other!) recipes from Jamie’s Food Revolution Cookbook on his website. Jamie’s recipes never disappoint, and with all the new healthy ones, you can’t go wrong!

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17 Comments

  1. Wow, this looks divine! I definitely need to make this for dinner soon. :)

  2. Mmm, mmmm! This has got to be one of my favorite combinations, the creme fraiche with the peas and bacon and cheese–so perfect. I love the orecchiette here, like little cups for peas, cute!

  3. This looks great! I love that book, it makes a great housewarming gift. The chicken fajitas are fantastic! Quick and healthy. We eat them almost once a week. I’ll certainly have to give this pasta a go.

  4. I love Jamie’s cookbooks. And I loved his show. In this age of celebrity chefs, it is so refreshing to see one who really is using his stardom to do something so worthwhile and meaningful.

  5. I didn’t watch much of Jamie’s show but I love his Podcasts! His recipes are always simple and made with fresh ingredients.

  6. Mmmm! Your pasta looks so creamy and yummy, Peas and bacon are the perfect match. Right? I agree with you Jamie never disappoint. I have all his books. They are great. :-D

  7. I love those little orecchiette pasta. They hold the sauce so well. And prosciutto makes everything taste better! yum!

  8. Yum! I wouldn’t have thought of creamy pasta and bacon as a healthful meal.

  9. This looks so yummy! I must try this for my family…and I think I will use our favorite pasta made from Kamut Khorasan Wheat for added nutrition! By the way – the photo at the top of your site made me smile :) Cute!

  10. Helga

     /  November 20, 2010

    I can’t find creme fraiche near me, any ideas on substitutes?

  11. Anna

     /  July 4, 2011

    I made this last night and it was absolutely delicious. However, the sauce wasn’t so much creamy as it was a bit oily. Next time, should I drain off some of the bacon grease before adding the peas?

  12. pete

     /  March 13, 2012

    I do the same recipe. Its great and you can substitute almost anything on it. I have done it with meatballs or chicken. Instead of creme fraiche i used 150 grams of philadelphia garlic and herbs.

  13. Leah Dahl

     /  May 14, 2012

    I didn’t have creme fraiche so made a simple Alfredo with butter, cream, and parmesan. It was delicious and I’ll make it again

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