Wednesday, 17 September 2014

More Peas, Please!

Farfalle con Piselli, Pancetta, Porro & Parmigiano
Farfalle with Peas, Bacon, Leek and Parmesan


"Easy-Peasy", was the way we would describe something that was totally simple to do, back when I was but a wee lad- and that's exactly how I would describe this tasty little pasta dish too!

Using simple fresh peas, a little bacon, chopped leek and Parmesan cheese, you can have this dish put together in less than 20 minutes and full, satisfied, happy and pretty proud of yourself just 10 minutes after that, if you are a fast eater! And chances are, that after your first bit... you will be just that!


Building on a well loved flavor combination of bacon, onion (or leek in this case) and peas, this is a simple dish that is bound to please... it has memories of childhood in it, days when things were much less complicated and much more pleasing... and all of the comfort that brings with it!


For one, good portion I needed about 1 1/3rd of a leek, 1 handful of finely chopped bacon, 2 handfuls of peas, a little parsley, a little Parmesan cheese and simply salt, pepper and nutmeg for seasoning- so this is something that most of us are always able to make, even as an "emergency meal", when we THINK we have nothing at home! I used fresh peas this evening, as I was lucky enough to have them... but frozen would work perfectly well in this too.

The method I used to cook this pasta dish is very similar to that for making "pasta caccio e pepe", the traditional Roman dish which relies solely on grated Pecorino and pepper for its seasoning... this is a little richer maybe, but also very low in fat and very high in flavor! I think you're going to like it!


Actually- just take a look at this and tell me... what's not to like, already?!? This is just about all you need for a great plate of pasta- and a little bit more!


I began by shelling the peas, rinsing out the leek after cutting it down the middle in order to be able to make sure all of the soil inside got washed out and then cutting it into very fine slices.


Whilst the pasta was boiling, I fried the leeks and peas together with the bacon, relying only on the bacon's own fat to get everything sweated down and slightly brown- keep the heat moderate and the ingredients stirring and they will produce enough juice of their own to cook in.

After the pasta has boiled for 5-6 minutes, add it to the frying pan enough with enough of the water to let it gently swim in, then season with plenty of pepper and nutmeg before stirring and allowing to simmer on for a further 2-3 minutes.


Next, add a good pinch of finely chopped parsley and about 1/3rd of the cheese- stir it in well and keep on cooking for a minute or so, then add more cheese, toss carefully and retain a last little bit of cheese for the garnish... because as soon as the last of the water in the pan has been absorbed- you will be ready to serve!


 Here it is- juicy, cheesy, flavorful and delicious! Now- where's my plate?!?!


A last sprinkle of cheese, a last grind of pepper... and buon appetito everybody! I sure hope you all enjoy!


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