Pasta con Piselli Pancetta Brasata

Braised Bacon and Pea PastaTaken from ‘The Geometry of Pasta’ by Caz Hildebrand & Jacob Kenedy

400g Pasta Shells
250g sweet-cured streaky bacon, thickly sliced**
1 cup good quality dark chicken stock1/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/3 cup frozen peas
Large handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley
Grated Parmesan to serve


1.Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
2. Braise the bacon – cut into 1/2 inch strips and cover with the chicken stock in an ovenproof dish only just large enough to accommodate both.
3. Place in oven and leave to simmer for 2-3 hours, stirring every half-hour until the juices are thick, more fat than water, and deliciously unctious, unhealthy, and sweet.  Once cooked, remove from oven and leave in dish.
4. This is a highly uneconomical use of an oven so advicable to undertake when you have something else baking away.  The braised bacon will keep in the fridge for a week at least.
5. Boil a pot of water and put in the pasta shells.
6. About 5 minutes before the pasta shells are done, bring the cream to a simmer with the butter and peas, and cook for 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened, until peas are tender and the cream sweet.
7. Add the bacon and all its juices and the parsley and season with plenty of pepper and a touch of salt.
8. Drain the shells when just on the hard side, and stir through the cream still on the heat for a few moments.
9. You may need to cook them together for a minute more – some of the water often gets trapped in shell-shaped pastas, diluting the sauce, which will need to thicken again.

**I wasn’t able to find sweet smoked streaky bacon so used half pancetta which I sliced thickly myself and half shortcut bacon.

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