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mini shell pasta with a creamy smoked bacon and pea sauce
05-19-2012, 08:24 PM
Post: #1

This is one of the dishes I cook for my kids, but to be honest, it’s so good that me and Jools always eat it too! Mini pasta shells are actually meant to be added to soups, but they’re quick and easy to cook, which makes them a good thing to serve with pasta sauces. All in all this should take you no more than five and a half minutes to cook. However, if you decide to go for a bigger type of pasta, remember that it will need more time to cook than these mini shells.

To prepare your pasta
• Finely slice the bacon
• Pick the mint leaves and discard the stalks
• Finely grate the Parmesan

To cook your pasta
• Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and drop in the stock cube (if using)
• Stir until it’s dissolved, then add the mini shells and cook according to the packet instructions
• Get a large frying pan over a medium heat and add a good lug of olive oil and the butter
• Add the bacon to the pan, sprinkle a little pepper over and fry until golden and crisp
• Meanwhile, finely chop your mint leaves
• As soon as the bacon is golden, add your frozen peas and give the pan a good shake
• After a minute or so, add the crème fraîche and chopped mint to the bacon and peas
• Drain the pasta in a colander over a large bowl, reserving some of the cooking water
• Add the pasta to the frying pan
• Halve your lemon and squeeze the juice over the pasta
• When it’s all bubbling away nicely, remove from the heat
• The sauce should be creamy and delicious but if it’s too thick for you, add a splash of the reserved cooking water to thin it out a bit
• Add the grated Parmesan and give the pan a shake to mix it in

To serve your pasta
• Divide your pasta between plates or bowls, or put it on the table in a large serving dish and let everyone help themselves
• Lovely with a simply dressed green salad

• from Jamie's Ministry of Food


• 10 slices smoked streaky bacon or pancetta, preferably free-range or organic
• a small bunch of fresh mint
• 150g Parmesan cheese
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
optional: 1 chicken stock cube, preferably organic
• 400g dried mini shell pasta
• olive oil
• a knob of butter
• 300g frozen peas
• 2 heaped dessertspoons crème fraîche
• 1 lemon

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