Here we are with another Molly Baz Cook This Book winner. As we move into fall and winter, creamy pastas are the thing and this is a really easy way to make a cream sauce. You’re not dealing with a ton of ingredients or steps – the key is just to have a couple items prepped in advance and from there it’s all about timing. The sauce feels sorta carbonara…sorta cacio e pepe…sorta just amazing.
Start with the one bit of real prep: trimming snap peas. Cut the ends off 6-8 oz. snap peas and slice (at an angle) into thirds. Once you’re all set, cook 6-8 strips of bacon. (The recipe tells you to cut the bacon into half-inch pieces and do this in a large pot, but I cook my bacon in the oven as strips, let it cool, and then cut it up. It takes absolutely nothing away from the dish and I find it to be simpler. It also means I can prep the snap peas while the bacon cooks since this method is hands off.) Once the bacon is about done (takes 20 min at 375), start cooking 1 lb of orecchiette according to the package directions. When there’s 2 minutes remaining in the cooking time (for me, this meant when the pasta had been boiling for 7 minutes), add the snap peas to the pot and boil for 1 additional minute. Turn off the heat and reserve 1 1/2 c. pasta water before draining the pasta and snap peas. Return the pasta/snap peas back to the pot, add the chopped bacon and 1 c. of the pasta water, and heat over medium. Stir stir stir while slowly adding 1/2 c. grated parmesan, little by little, to form a sauce. Turn off the heat and add 1/4 c. whole milk ricotta in 4 dollops, stirring only once, maybe twice, so you create pockets of ricotta. Add some salt and crack lots of black pepper on top. Serve with extra grated parmesan.
The only issue I have with this pasta is that the proportions are slightly off. I don’t think you need a full pound (aka whole box) of pasta. I would like it to be chock full of bacon and veggies in every bite and would therefore use maybe 3/4 of the box instead. The recipe said this serves 4, but those are 4 big servings – and no way are they 4 servings if you’re serving as a side like we were. That said, I’ve never complained about having too much pasta. I might have questions about the portions, but I got zero questions about the taste. It’s gooood.