Last weekend, I made Pasta e Piselli (pasta with peas) just as it was described by a well-known cookbook author. Sadly, the final product didn’t sing for me. It was much too bland. So last night I made the dish yet again, jazzing it up with heavy cream, smokey bacon, and invigorating mint from my garden. In other words, I “Kevin-ized” it. The result was as delicious as a Dean Martin song.
The Dean Martin song in question. Let it play while you read the step-by-step recipe! (You’ll find a printable version at the end of this post.)
To start, grab some Penne pasta, and cook it just to the “al dente” stage. Emphasis on al dente, because over-cooked pasta is dreadful pasta.
Meanwhile, take a stack of bacon…
And cut it crosswise into 1/4-inch “lardons.”
Then fetch some mint leaves from your garden or farmers’ market, and coarsely chop them.
Coarsely chop some flat-leaved parsley, too.
Then warm some olive oil in a large skillet…
Add the bacon pieces…
And saute them until they are brown and crisp — about 5 minutes.
Tip an ungodly amount of heavy cream into the hot skillet, and stir it around until it bubbles and thickens.
Then stir in some fresh or frozen peas…
and a flurry of Italian seasoning…
And all of the aforementioned mint and parsley. Turn off the heat.
At this point, your pasta should be ready. Drain it, or — much easier — scoop it out with a spider strainer (details here) and then add it to the skillet. Use a spatula to gently fold the pasta into the hot cream sauce.
Fold in some Parmesan cheese!
To finish, add some freshly-ground pepper, and, if necessary after tasting, some salt.
Here’s the printable recipe: