Pasta and Peas with Bacon

Pasta and Peas with Bacon

Creamy. Dreamy. Parmesany. Insanely Easy.

Pasta and Peas with Bacon because peas just scream spring time cuisine for me. It’s time to move from the dark, heavy greens of winter (I won’t forget you kale) to the light, bright, vibrant greens of warmer days and blossoming trees. That almost sounded poetic when what we’re really talking about here is carbs. And cream. And bacon.

Even my pea-hating husband loves this one. Perfectly cooked pasta (I used Gigli), swimming in a creamy, garlicky, parmesan sauce and tossed with loads of bright green peas and herbs (if you want herbs and you should want herbs) and then topped with crisp, salty bacon. And freshly cracked black pepper. And more cheese.

Pasta and Peas with Bacon

I was inspired to make this dish by taking my girls on a shopping trip to Ikea recently and while I paid for our oversized haul of unnecessary goods they took a trip up to the cafeteria “just to look”. This look was immediately followed by a text that said “it smells too good… we’re eating”.

When I went up to meet them I found daughter number one (vegetarian) with a plate of veggie balls, gravy, mashed potatoes and a huge pile of peas. Daughter number two (not vegetarian) had a plate of meatballs and gravy served with a side of fries because she asked them to kindly “remove all colored things from her plate”. Sigh.

And for cafeteria food, the peas were really good. The little sweet kind, perfectly salty and swimming in what I assume was butter or some kind of butter flavoured sauce that was a bit reminiscent of those little boil-in-bag packs of niblets corn that we ate all the time when I was young (I have recreated this deliciousness at home btw and one day I’ll share it with you). The peas were so yummy I became immediately obsessed with coming up with new pea recipes and this is where we’ll start.

Pasta and Peas with Bacon

Pasta and Peas with Bacon

Pasta and Peas with Bacon

A creamy pasta loaded with bright green peas and crisp, salty bacon. Finished with lots of Parmesan and black pepper, it’s easy to make and so delicious.
5 from 2 votes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4


  • 1 lb pasta I used Gigli
  • 1 1/2 cups peas fresh or frozen
  • 8 pieces bacon cut into 2” pieces
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup shallot or onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup parmesan finely shredded, plus more for serving
  • Optional: 2-3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley mint, dill or basil


  • Cook the pasta in well salted water according to package directions. When there is one minute left on the cooking time, add in the peas.
  • Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water.
  • In a large skillet cook the bacon and then remove it from the pan and drain the excess fat.
  • Add in the butter and the shallot.
  • Sauté until shallot is softened.
  • Add in the garlic and the red pepper flakes. Cook for one minute.
  • Add in the cream and the milk. When the cream is hot sprinkle the parmesan over and then stir in.
  • Add in the cooked pasta & peas and a little of the pasta water and stir well. Add more water if needed to thin the sauce.
  • Season with salt, if needed, and black pepper.
  • Stir in herbs, if using.
  • Top with bacon and extra parmesan and serve.
Keyword Pasta and Peas with Bacon
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Pasta with Peas with Bacon

Pasta and Peas with Bacon Recipe ingredients, tips, substitutions:

Pasta – I used Gigli, but you can really use anything. I just like the ruffly edges that hold the little peas and the creamy sauce so perfectly.

Peas – fresh and frozen are both perfectly fine. No need to thaw the frozen peas as you’re dumping them straight into the boiling pasta water. If I’m using frozen peas I like the sweet baby peas much better than the larger varieties.

Shallot – if you don’t have shallots you can sub in onion.

Parmesan – feel free to experiment with different cheeses in this recipe. Pecorino, Asiago, Feta, Goat, even Blue Cheese… I mean, it’s cheese! You can’t go wrong.

Herbs – fresh herbs are optional, but highly recommended. I adore parsley in this pasta, but dill is also excellent as is basil or mint. Any soft herb works beautifully.

Pasta and Peas with Bacon Recipe Variations:

Lemon Version – add the zest of a lemon along with the cream and milk and then spritz the finished pasta with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice before serving.

Spicy Version – add an extra big pinch of red pepper flakes to the cream before adding the pasta. The heat does work really well in this dish.

Vegetarian Version – omit the bacon – obvs. Add in a can of drained and rinsed white beans.

Pasta and Peas with Bacon

Pasta and Peas with Bacon recipe, how to make it…

Start the pasta cooking in well salted water and one minute before the cooking time is up go ahead and dump in the peas. Scoop out about a cup of pasta water then drain the pasta and the peas and set them aside.

Cook the bacon in a large, heavy skillet, then remove and set aside on a paper towel lined plate. Drain any excess oil (and if you’re making this for a vegetarian go ahead and wipe out the skillet completely before moving on).

Add the butter to the skillet and then add the shallots. Cook over medium heat until the shallot has softened, about 6-7 minutes. Add in the garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes and cook for one minute more.

Pour in the cream and the milk and once the mixture is hot sprinkle over the parmesan cheese and then stir to incorporate everything. Add in the pasta and peas along with a drizzle of the pasta water and stir well. If you feel it’s too thick add a little more pasta water and stir again. Season with salt, if needed, and pepper.

Top with bacon and more parmesan cheese.

Pasta and Peas with Bacon

looking for more super delicious pasta recipes? try these…

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  1. MediaVine MediaVine

    5 stars

  2. Anonymous

    5 stars

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