Pipette w/ Bacon & Peas

​​What’s funny about this recipe is that the inspiration came from a Bon Appetit article called “12 Ways to Cook w/ Ricotta“.  I bookmarked this pasta dish along with the hundreds of other recipes I save.  The other day, it caught my eye and I decided to make this for dinner but whoops… I had no Ricotta!  I improvised and ended up with a really yummy pasta without the starring ingredient.
The original recipe also used a really pretty pasta shape called Campanelle which I didn’t have.  I chose to use my Pipette since it was also cute and different from your typical Penne, Elbows, or Shells!  (I’ve always had a huge crush on pasta shapes… it’s strange)
Photo Cred: finecooking.com

Campanelle, Photo Cred: finecooking.com

vs.

Photo cred: thekitchn.com

Pipette, Photo cred: thekitchn.com

Pipette w/ Bacon & Peas

Ingredients:  

1/2 box Pipette Pasta

4-6 Pieces of Center Cut Bacon, chopped

1/4 Onion, sliced

3/4 cup Frozen Peas

1 Tablespoon Cream Cheese 

2 Tablespoons Fat Free Sour Cream

1 Tablespoon Fat Free Plain Greek Yogurt

1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese

Fresh Black Pepper, Parsley Leaves

Directions:

1.  Cook pasta in salted water to al dente according to the directions on the package.  Drain and set aside.

2.  Meanwhile, cook the chopped bacon, stirring occasionally until it starts to crisp up.  Add the sliced onion and cook, still stirring until the onions are softening up a bit.  Add the frozen peas and continue to cook making sure you don’t burn the bacon.  

3.  Melt the cream cheese, sour cream, greek yogurt, and most of the parmesan cheese over the drained and hot pasta.  Stir to combine.  

4.  Once the peas are heated through and the bacon is cooked crisp to your liking, pour the mixture over the sauced-up pasta.  Sprinkle with black pepper and parsley.  Enjoy!

Recipe inspired by:  12 Ways to Cook w/ Ricotta

If you cut the bacon into this size, it will shrink up nicely but still maintain a large enough piece to really notice it in your dish!

If you cut the bacon into this size, it will shrink up nicely but still maintain a large enough piece to really notice it in your dish!

This is the point where the mixture is just done... the bacon is crisp and the onions are just starting to brown

This is the point where the mixture is just done… the bacon is crisp and the onions are just starting to brown

So pretty!

So pretty!

photo 4 (14)

Woo-Wee!  This recipe is so yummy!  I have to appreciate the rare occasion where I am allowed to eat bacon for dinner.  Both Dave and I devoured our portions and I had to be careful we didn’t over eat since this wasn’t the healthiest meal!  While I assume making this dish with ricotta cheese would be delicious, I didn’t miss it at all.  The rich bacon grease drippings mixed with the creaminess of the pasta sauce was more than enough flavor to make this recipe spectacular.  It might sound strange, but try it!  It just works.

Oh, and i left the salt out on purpose, you totally don’t need it when there’s bacon involved!!

Check out some of my other BACON recipes!

Breakfast Baked Potato

Breakfast Baked Potato

One-Pan Hashbrown Breakfast

One-Pan Hashbrown Breakfast

Corn & Potato Chowder

Corn & Potato Chowder

Seared Scallops & Shrimp over Creamy Linguine

There was no way I was going to be at the JFX Farmers Market in Baltimore and not purchase slab bacon.  Our friend Donny has cooked it up for us before and I was blown away.  I knew that if I came home without it, my Bacon-Obsessed Dad would be very disappointed.  He and I made plans to cook up the bacon and make dinner together, something we rarely do.  After days of contemplating our menu, here’s what we came up with:

Seared Scallops & Shrimp Over Creamy Linguine

a Recipe by:  It’s Good to be the Cook (and the Cook’s Dad!)
Serves:  5
Ingredients:
  • 1 box Whole Wheat Linguine
  • Scallops (3-4 per person), rinsed and patted dry
  • Shrimp (3-4 per person we bought raw but devained), rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 cup Slab Bacon, cut into small pieces (use 4 pieces of regular bacon if you don’t have slab)
  • 1/2 Onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 ½ cups frozen peas
  • 1 cup Light Cream
  • 1 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated fine
  • Sunflower Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Minced Garlic
  • 2 Green Onions, chopped
  • Salt, Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, Dried Parsley
Directions:
1.  Cook the pasta according to directions on the box, using olive oil and salt.  When it’s finished, drain, saving some of the pasta water, and set aside.
2.  Cook the bacon on low heat in cast iron skillet until crisped through.  Set aside on paper towels to drain.  Keep the bacon fat in the pan.
3.  Cook the onions in the bacon grease.  Set aside.
4.  Lightly salt and pepper the scallops and shrimp, making sure they are patted dry first.
5.  Add enough sunflower oil to the cast iron skillet to just cover the bottom.  Turn to high heat.  Once the oil is hot (you can test by adding just a drop of water into the pan) add the scallops.  The key here is DO NOT MOVE the scallops!  Let them cook and do not touch them until about 5-6 minutes in.  Flip the scallops and do not move them again!  This is how you’ll get that nice brown crust you’re looking for.  Add the shrimp during the last few minutes of cooking the scallops.  They should only take 2 or 3 minutes.  The scallops should take 8-10 depending on the size (ours were huge!)
6.  When the seafood is done, remove them from the oil and drain them on papertowels.  Now, you can make the sauce for the pasta.  In the same pot you cooked the pasta, add the light cream, parmesan cheese, peas, garlic, cooked onion, and green onion.  Bring to a simmer.  Mix it around until the cheese is melted and the sauce starts to thicken.  Add the pasta (I cooked a whole box but did NOT use the entire thing), just a shake of salt, pepper, dried parsley, and cayenne pepper if you wish.  I used a touch of the saved pasta water to make the sauce go a little bit further.  Stir in the bacon.
7.  Serve the pasta with the seafood ontop.  

As most of you know, I don’t normally make many dinners that are as decadent as this one!  What a treat!  My Dad and I spent all evening in the kitchen, and it paid off.  Everyone enjoyed their meal, everything turned out perfect, and most important, we had a lot of fun together!

Creamy Penne w/ Sausage & Peas

So, I’ve been pretty busy.  I have been literally sitting here staring at a blank screen for the past fifteen minutes.  I’ve forgotten how to blog?!  Has it been that long?  You wouldn’t believe how time consuming this whole thing is…

1.  Find a recipe to make.  I will one day force myself to blog about my ever-growing recipe book I started almost a YEAR ago.  I’m not even ready to use it yet.  It’s a masterpiece in the works.

2.  Make the recipe.  Not that hard, normally… but remembering to take pictures while not screwing anything up can be annoying.  Oh, and I also take them all now with my Iphone… I want a blogging fairy to buy me a new camera!

3.  Eat the recipe.  YUM!

4.  Blog about the recipe.  Transfer the pictures to my computer, maybe edit some of them, upload them, write a story, recipe, etc… it takes a long time!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining… I’m just begging you all to forgive me for my recent lack of fabulous recipe posts!  I have just been so busy the last month or so, I hardly have any time to even make my own dinners… let alone interesting ones.

Also, it has been a difficult transition for the blog, going back onto weight watchers & my new diet from John the dietitian.  With holidays, long weekends, celebrations, and visitors… it’s been so hard to stay on track!

Well, this week I was able to have a good hour in the kitchen to test out a new recipe I got from Rachel Ray’s Magazine back in April.  I love trying new flavor combinations like this, and the best part about this recipe is that I didn’t even need to go to the store!

Creamy Penne w/ Sausage & Peas

Makes 2 Servings.  About 12 WW Points Plus.
Recipe adapted from:  Rachael Ray
Ingredients:
  • 4 oz Whole Wheat Penne
  • 1/2 cup Fat Free Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic, minced
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 8oz Hot Turkey Sausage, casing removed
  • 1 cup Frozen Peas
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh mint
Directions:
  1. Cook pasta according to directions on the box. 
  2. Meanwhile, combine yogurt, garlic, salt, pepper, and cayenne in a small bowl.  Set aside in the refrigerator.
  3. In a medium-sized saucepan, cook the sausage, chopping as it cooks.  It took me not much longer than 5 minutes.  Add in the frozen peas and stir.  Cook for another 4 or 5 minutes until sausage is cooked through and the peas are hot.  The grease from the sausage browned the peas just a little bit. 
  4. Drain pasta and add the sausage mixture to the pasta.  Split into two bowls.  Top with a heaping spoonful of the yogurt sauce and a sprinkle of chopped mint.  

I took the original recipe and adapted it to work with the pasta I had in the house already.  I actually measured out the servings of pasta to make counting the meal for Weight Watchers easier.  Dave was a huge help with this meal- which I LOVE.  It’s always nice to have company in the kitchen… especially when they are helpful!  I normally love having leftovers and go out of my way to make them, but with this recipe being not so healthy, I halved the original recipe from Rachael.

Measuring out the pasta is a great way to make sure you don’t over-eat! Dad just picked up this measuring cup & scale in one for us… its awesome!

Cookin’ the peas and the sausage

Yummy and pretty

We both really enjoyed this pasta dish, and it was such a treat since we generally don’t eat pasta too often!  The mint was a great surprise.  I would never think to put mint in pasta.  I’m glad Rachael did!  It added just the right amount of flavor without being overpowering at all.

I also used some of the leftover mint to add to our lemonade!  YUM!

I seriously loved having some extra mint for my diet lemonade

That’s all for now, but I promise you I’ll be back with more this week!

I also am super excited to receive my June Foodie Pen Pal Package from Emily @ In the Moment!!