I threw this dish together one night last week after I realized that I had forgotten to stop at the market on my way home. Since I was already all cozy in my pjs at the time, and would have preferred sticking bamboo skewers under my fingernails than go out again, I raided my pantry and fridge and decided to make do with whatever I had. Every single ingredient was already lurking in one place or the other. I kind of just put it all together as I went along.
The sauce for this dish can be prepared while the pasta is cooking. For the mathematically challenged, that translates into about ten minutes. Hows that for quick? Of course, you can use any kind of pasta and combination of sauce ingredients you like. If I hadnt had the bacon or frozen peas, I could have just as easily used something else like ham or broccoli. If youd rather have a lighter sauce, leave out the cream. Thats the beauty of flying by the seat of your pants. You can do whatever you want. There are no rules to break!
So fly, my little sparrows. FLY!
Creamy Bowties with Bacon, Onion and Peas
1 pound bowtie pasta
4 slices thick-sliced bacon
Olive oil as needed
1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
1 cup frozen sweet peas
1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
1. Put a large pot of salted water on to boil. When boiling, cook pasta until al dente (firm to the bite), about 10 minutes. Reserve about 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. While pasta is cooking, make the sauce.
2. Cut the bacon into 1/4-inch pieces. Fry bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat, until just lightly golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Leave remaining bacon drippings in the skillet and reduce heat to medium. Add onion to the skillet and sauté until soft and tender, about 4 minutes. Add peas and sauté a few minutes more until heated through. If the skillet starts to get dry, add a little olive oil.
3. Stir in cream and simmer a few minutes until it begins to reduce and thicken.
4. Add cooked, drained pasta and bacon to the skillet and toss gently until all of the ingredients are incorporated and pasta is coated with the sauce. If the dish seems dry, add in some of the pasta water. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Remove from heat and drizzle in a little more olive oil and the butter. Swirl until butter is melted. Sprinkle on some gated cheese and serve.
Serves 3 as a main dish, and 6 as a side.