What’s cooking today: Bacon, pea and Parmesan pasta

What’s cooking today: Bacon, pea and Parmesan pasta
Tony Jackman’s bacon, pea and Parmesan pasta. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

Sometimes Parmesan can be an integral part of a pasta sauce, rather than only being grated over before serving.

Bacon and peas may seem like an odd couple, but in fact they marry really well. Onion and garlic make ideal flower girls, and a generous quantity of grated Parmesan sends them off on their honeymoon.

(Serves 2)


200 g bacon, diced

1 medium red onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

3 Tbsp olive oil

A glass of dry white wine

250 g cavatappi pasta spirals or other small pasta such as farfalle, shell, penne

1 cup frozen peas

A handful of chopped parsley

Salt to taste

Black pepper to taste

⅓ cup grated Parmesan


Fry the diced bacon in a touch of olive oil, just enough to grease the pan. Remove to a side dish.

Add olive oil and cook the onion until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more.

Simmer the peas from frozen in boiling water, until al dente, then refresh in icy water and drain.

Return the bacon to the pan with the onions.

Add the wine and reduce on a high heat until mostly cooked away.

Add the blanched peas and stir. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Stir in some chopped parsley.

Finally, stir in a half cup of grated Parmesan and stir.

Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti until al dente, in plenty of rapidly boiling water, and drain, after first removing two ladlefuls of pasta water and adding it to the sauce. (Then cook the sauce, stirring, for about two minutes more).

Toss the drained pasta through the sauce and serve immediately with more Parmesan grated over. DM

Tony Jackman is Galliova Food Writer 2023, jointly with TGIFood columnist Anna Trapido.

Follow Tony Jackman on Instagram @tony_jackman_cooks.

This dish is photographed in a bowl by Mervyn Gers Ceramics.


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