This was one of those dishes we made up on the fly. We knew we were going to turn the pesto in to a cream sauce but, the question then was what else to put in it. I wanted to use some of the sugar snap peas that have been so good at the farmers market lately. I thought the sweetness would be good against the zing of the pesto. We thought bacon would be the perfect addition of saltiness (ok, when don't we think bacon is the perfect addition?). Since we were eating at Corner Table it only made sense to pick up some Hickory Smoked Bacon from their deli case.
I usually use the term comfort food for fall and winter dishes but, this pasta is totally spring comfort food. We had worked all day around the house and yard plus, canned two batches of jam so, this pasta was the perfect dinner. It comes together quickly, the sauce is done in the time it takes to boil the pasta, and its got that creamy goodness that is always soothing.
Pasta with Peas and Bacon in Green Garlic and Chive Pesto Sauce
(If you can't find hickory smoked bacon feel free to use your favorite good smoked variety but, the hickory smoke really adds a slight summer bbq smell and flavor to this dish.)
4 oz pasta, we used penne
3 slices of hickory smoked bacon, roughly chopped
1 1/2 c sugar snap peas, strings removed
1 T all-purpose flour
1 c half and half
2 T green garlic and chive pesto
1 oz asiago cheese, grated
1 oz parmesan cheese, grated
fresh ground pepper
Cook pasta according to directions. Drain.
While the pasta is cooking, cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crispy. Remove to a paper towel, leaving about 1 tablespoon of bacon fat in the pan. Turn the heat up to medium-high. Add the peas and cook for one minute. Sprinkle the flour over the peas and stir while cooking for another minutes. Add the half and half and bring to a boil while stirring until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in the pesto, cheese and a few grinds of fresh pepper. Cook until the cheese is melted. Stir in the cooked bacon. Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed. Stir in drained pasta and heat until cooked through.
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