One pot and 15 minutes. That’s all you need to make my Creamy Pasta with Bacon and Peas! With a short ingredient list to boot, this comforting recipe is a must for days you need a big bowl of love. Make it for guests, make it for a date, make it for yourself. I can promise it will become a secret weapon in your kitchen.
With a few days left until the New Year, I think it’s only right to fit in as many calories as humanly possible. Right? Usually when I make a creamy pasta I’ll try to lighten it up with some half & half, but today I’m going all out. When I say cream, I mean cream. We’re talking 35% whipping cream to make the most luxurious, perfectly thickened sauce to coat each strand.
Some days we need a meal so delicious, so filling, so rich, so sinful, all you can do is lie down and enter a food coma afterward. This is a recipe that will achieve just that! My boyfriend’s mom knew just the trick, and I’m so grateful she could pass this recipe onto me. But, don’t worry. It’s not all that bad for you. There are peas in it! I think we can categorize this in the “health-conscious” category now.
Click “Jump to the Recipe” at the top of the page or keep on scrolling down to the recipe card for ingredient amounts and the full recipe instructions. Read along if you’d like to see extra information, tips, tricks, and substitutes for this recipe.
- Pasta – Any type you like best. I used linguini.
- Olive oil – For sautéing. You can also use vegetable, canola, avocado, safflower, or grapeseed oils.
- Bacon – Thick-cut is ideal. I found a beautiful double-smoked thick-cut bacon at my local butcher.
- Shallot – Or sweet onion. Use half if the onion is small to medium, or 1/4 if the onion is large.
- Cream – Heavy whipping cream. Anything 35%+.
- Peas – Fresh, frozen, or canned & rinsed.
- Bouillon – I used chicken but any type will work.
- Pepper – Freshly cracked.
All about bacon
This recipe is a favorite of my boyfriend’s when he was growing up. His mom took me to the butcher across the street to get this incredible double-smoked bacon. I think the thick-cut is a big part of what makes this recipe so special. We’re talking almost 1/4″ thick for the bacon I found! It added so much amazing flavor and texture to the recipe.
You can really step your culinary game up and use some pancetta or guanciale to give your version a bit of a creamy carbonara vibe. If you’re looking for a non-pork option, try your favorite smoked sausage cut into bites. You might have to add a bit more oil in this case.
How to make creamy pasta with bacon and peas
- Pasta and bacon: Cook the pasta al dente according to package instructions. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat, and add the bacon. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the bacon begins to brown.
- Shallot: Add the shallots to the pan and continue to cook for another 2 minutes, or until the bacon is browned to your preference. Drain all but 1-2 tbsp of the fat from the pan.
- Sauce: Pour the cream into the pan along with the bouillon, pepper, and peas. Simmer for 2-3 minutes to warm the peas through.
- Finish: Reduce the heat to medium and add the pasta. Toss to coat for 1-2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat. Keep in mind the sauce will thicken significantly as the pasta cools before serving.
Tips for making perfect creamy pasta with bacon and peas
- Cream around 35% is ideal. While it has a high-fat content, it still liquid enough to give you a nice, glossy sauce. Anything above 40% may end up being too thick.
- The peas don’t need a lot of time- just enough to heat them up. Any more and they can over-cook.
- Get yourself some good quality thick-cut bacon if you can.
- Treat the bouillon powder like salt. Add more or less depending on your preference.
- Make sure the sauce is still quite liquid when you take the pan off the heat. It will thicken up a lot as it cools down a bit.
How to store leftovers
Transfer leftovers to an airtight container and store in the fridge for 3-5 days. To reheat, you can use the microwave or toss the pasta in a skillet over medium heat. If you find the sauce has dried out a bit or the pasta has absorbed it, you can add a splash more cream or even some broth to thin it out.
Did you love this easy recipe? Try these!
- Spaghetti Carbonara
- Tortellini Soup
- Oregano Pesto
- Baked Mac and Cheese
- Skillet Cajun Chicken Sausage and Rice
Creamy Pasta with Bacon and Peas
- 1 lb pasta I used linguini
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 8 oz bacon thick-cut
- 2-3 shallots finely diced
- 3 cups heavy cream 35% or more
- 1 1/2 tsp bouillon powder I used chicken. Season to taste- this is used instead of salt.
- 1 tsp pepper freshly cracked
- 1 cup peas fresh, frozen, or canned*
- Cook the pasta al dente according to package instructions. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat, and add the bacon. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the bacon begins to brown.
- Add the shallots to the pan and continue to cook for another 2 minutes, or until the bacon is browned to your preference. Drain all but 1-2 tbsp of the fat from the pan.
- Pour the cream into the pan along with the bouillon, pepper, and peas. Simmer for 2-3 minutes to warm the peas through.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the pasta. Toss to coat for 1-2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat. Keep in mind the sauce will thicken significantly as the pasta cools before serving.