Easy peasy creamy sweet peas and bacon pasta shells! This comforting meal is packed with flavor for the entire family to enjoy.

This pasta dish is always a crowd pleaser and it is ready in less than 30 minutes! We start with delicious sweet peas that get coated in a creamy buttery sauce and finally, tossed with al dente pasta shells to hold all the delicious sauce. Add the bacon at the end to keep it nice and crunchy! You will love fresh pop of flavor from sweet peas and the crunch of savory bacon in every bite. It tastes like home and brings everyone to the table.

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Weeknight friendly and kid approved meal

While the pasta boils, everything else in this dish comes together in one large skillet. Then, toss the pasta in the skillet and give a good stir. Shower the top with freshly grated parmigiano and that’s it my friends! This is an easy meal that adults and children love!

It’s not mind-blowing. It’s simple, delicious, and and great dinner recipe to make often. It is ready in about 20 minutes. I make this so often that I know it by heart, and soon you will too!

Simple Ingredients

  • Pasta shells (any short pasta variety will work)
  • Petite sweet peas
  • Bacon or pancetta
  • Shallot
  • Butter
  • Heavy cream
  • Parmigiano cheese
  • Salt and Pepper

Peas matter…for this recipe I highly recommend the ‘petite’ pea or ‘baby’ sweet pea variety. 

Compared to the standard green pea, petite peas are smaller in stature with a more tender skin, and a delicately sweet flavor. They are also less starchy and simply, better :). Since peas are a main ingredient of this dish it’s important to pick the right ones to create the perfect taste and texture.

Do you want to leave out the bacon in this recipe? Try this recipe instead:

Penne Pasta and Peas Recipe with Mascarpone

Penne Pasta with Petite Peas and Onions in a Creamy Mascarpone Sauce This is a quick meal that will save…

Do you want to leave out the peas in this recipe? Try this recipe instead:

Authentic Pasta Carbonara- Italian Recipe (Video)

Authentic Italian Carbonara is an easy meal that tastes restaurant worthy every time! Carbonara: silky creamy egg and cheese sauce drown…

Whats the difference between pancetta and bacon?

The biggest difference between pancetta and bacon is that bacon is smoked and pancetta is salt-cured and dried. In terms of cooking, this means that bacon is still raw and should be cooked while pancetta can be eaten both cooked or uncooked. Both pancetta and bacon work well in this recipe!

Creamy pasta shells with petite peas and bacon close up shot

Made with Amore, Elena

From my Cucina to your Table, Mangia! Mangia! (Eat!) 

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Delicious salty bacon and sweet delicate peas come together in this quick and easy creamy pasta dish recipe, ready in only 20 minutes. You will come back to this recipe time and time again!

Creamy pasta shells with petite peas and bacon
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Creamy pasta shells with petite peas and bacon in a skillet pan

Creamy Pasta Shells with Sweet Peas and Bacon

  • Author: Elena Davis
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Savory
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

This pasta dish is always a crowd pleaser! We start with delicious sweet peas that get coated in a creamy buttery sauce and finally, tossed with al dente pasta shells to hold all the delicious sauce. Add the bacon at the end to keep it nice and crunchy! You will love fresh pop of flavor from sweet peas and the crunch of savory bacon in every bite. It tastes like home and brings everyone to the table.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 6 strips bacon or pancetta, cut into chunks
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 cups petite peas
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmigiano cheese, more for topping
  • 1 lb short pasta such as small shells
  • 1/4 cup reserved pasta water
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Bring a large stockpot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions. (Important: When pasta is almost done cooking, use a measuring cup to remove and reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water) 
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat a large saucepan or skillet over medium heat. When hot, add bacon and sauté until golden and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and reserve for later.
  3. Drain off all but a thin layer of bacon grease from the pan. Reduce heat under the pan to low-medium.
  4. Add butter and shallots. Sauté until shallots are tender, 3 minutes. Add in peas and cook for 3 more minute. Drain pasta and add reserved pasta water to the pan. Add cream. Stir to combine and bring to a low simmer until bubbly, about 3 minutes. The starches from the pasta water will thicken the cream slightly and create a yummy sauce. 
  5. Take pan off heat. Add the parmigiano cheese and stir to combine. Add the hot pasta to the pan. Stir until incorporated. Top with bacon and stir slightly to keep the bacon on top and still crunchy. Add freshly ground pepper, if desired. Sprinkle with extra parmigiano cheese and serve hot! Mangia!  

Keywords: pasta, easy dinner, bacon, peas, cream, main meal, pasta recipe, pasta shells, heavy cream, shallots