Sunday, June 29, 2014

Creamy Bacon & Pea Orzo

Hi guys, I've been meaning to share this for awhile, but I've been in a strange limbo between the end of residency and the start of fellowship. The days of summer break are far gone,  but these past couple of weeks have been the closest thing we've had to those beautiful, uninterrupted 3-4 month stretches of break. I'll take it! 

We just had a wonderful weekend in Boston with my Dad, brother, and his girlfriend. It's these kinds of gatherings - plenty of good conversation and laid back lounging, that recharge us. I only wish we could all get together more often!

I was inspired to make this when I came across some spring pea recipes a few months ago. There's something about the bright green leaves on trees that makes me want to eat something that looks just as pretty and fresh. This rich pasta is such a great comfort food - loaded with veggies and a little bit of indulgence with bacon. It is of course, easy and quick to make. While the orzo cooks, simply prepare the sauce, and within 10-15 minutes, you'll be tossing the finished product together. If you want to make a double batch, I'm confident that this would freeze well and make for an effortless weeknight dinner down the line. 

Creamy Bacon & Pea Orzo
Yields approximately 3-4 cups


1 cup orzo (uncooked)

3 cups water

4-5 strips bacon

1 cup frozen peas

1 large shallot or 1/2 white onion, diced

Parmesan cheese

Truffle oil (optional)

1 1/4 cups whole milk


1. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium sized pot. Add orzo and cook until al dente (approximately 5-7 minutes)

2. Fry bacon in a medium saucepan until crisp. Remove bacon strips from pan, chop roughly into small pieces

3. Cook shallot/onion in the pan with bacon fat for ~1 minute

4. Return bacon to pan, adding whole milk and frozen peas. Simmer until slightly thickened, approximately 5-10 minutes; see below for desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste

5. Once orzo is cooked, remove it from the pot and drain

6. In  a large serving bowl, combine orzo and cream sauce; toss to combine thoroughly

7. Top with grated parmesan cheese and serve immediately

I topped ours with a light drizzle of truffle oil - it was delicious! The truffle oil is completely optional - a simple dusting of parmesan is more than enough to bring everything together into a savory mouthful punctuated by the sweetness of peas. I hope you'll enjoy this easy pasta dish - thanks for reading!


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