Pea & Bacon Pasta with Parmesan
1 pound pasta (medium shells, rigatoni, penne work best)
3/4 cup bacon bits
2 tablespoons olive oil (or bacon drippings)
3 cups frozen or fresh peas
6 garlic cloves, minced
1.5 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup freshly grated parmesan
salt and pepper to taste
Generously salt water for pasta; bring to boil.
Add pasta and set a timer for 1-2 minutes less than the package calls for. (reserve 2 cups of the pasta water)
Heat the oil/bacon drippings in a skillet on medium-high.
Add minced garlic and cook 1-2 minutes, being careful not to burn.
Add peas, chicken stock, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower to simmer for 5-8 minutes until the peas are cooked. You aren’t reducing the stock, so don’t worry that there is a lot there.
Check your pasta. It should not be fully cooked when you drain it. Reserving 2 cups of the pasta water, drain the pasta and return the pasta to the cooking pot, and then transfer the peas and stock to the pasta cooking pot. Bring to boil to finish cooking the pasta. Add some or all of the reserved pasta cooking water as needed.
Add parmesan and butter.
Salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with a little more parmesan and/or bacon bits.