Quick Dinner: Casarecce with Crème fraîche, Peas, and Bacon

When you get back from a trip, you usually have two completely opposite reactions once you step into your kitchen. 1) I want “real” food. 2) I don’t want to spend a lot of time to get it because I just got off a plane with an entire children’s football team.

This was the case for me when I got back and I happened to have a bunch of random things around in my fridge and in my pantry, which was lucky. After a lot of cold food in Denmark in the form of smørrebrød (trip updates coming soon!), a big bowl of hot pasta sounded fantastic. But I had no traditional sauces or toppings around — but I did have some crème fraîche. What ended up on my plate a mere 15 minutes later was pretty awesome for some on the fly cooking.

Casarecce with Peas, Bacon, and Crème fraîche

Serves 2 reasonably… but I’d start with a salad before.

Mise en place: It always helps to have your ingredients set up before you start cooking – it makes everything go by much, much faster.

200 g casarecce or any other short, twirly pasta like gemelli or fusilli
about 100 g crème fraîche
100 g frozen peas
50 g Schinkenwürfel (or lardon, or any other ham/bacon, cubed small)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
basil leaves for garnish

1. Get a nice big pot of well-salted water to a rolling boil. Cook pasta according to the directions given until al dente (it took me about 10 minutes). Use a mug to reserve a bit of pasta water on the side when almost done cooking. Drain in a colander, and toss with a teensy bit of olive oil to keep the noodles separate.

2. In a separate frying pan, heat up the olive oil using medium-high heat. Chuck in the garlic and let cook for about a minute or two before adding the bacon cubes. Get this fun mixture cooking for about 5 minutes until the fat starts popping. At this point, chuck in the frozen peas and cook for a minute or two.

3. Now add in the pasta and toss everything around.

4. Chuck in the creme fraiche and pasta water as needed to thicken the sauce. Stir until it looks awesome and delicious. Add some salt to taste.

5. Divide and serve the pasta into two portions. Garnish with some fresh black pepper and top with some fresh basil leaves.

6. EAT. You’ve waited long enough.

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