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

Creamy Pasta Shells with Sweet Peas and Bacon

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5 from 17 reviews

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.

  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


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


  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!  
  • Author: Elena Davis
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Savory
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian