Cavatelli with bacon, cream and snap peas
A guilty pleasure for a cold night.
1 lb. cavatelli or other tube pasta
3/4 lb snap peas, ends removed and cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
1 garlic clove, minced
1 shallot, minced
2-3 strips thick-cut bacon, cubed
Handful of parsley, minced
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
3/4 cup light or heavy cream
Lots of pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of well-salted water to boil. The pasta should come out of the water just as you're completing assembly of the sauce, so begin browning the bacon about 5 minutes before you add the pasta to the water. (Reserve a little pasta water for thinning the sauce, just in case. You probably won't need it but better safe than sorry.)
Brown the bacon in a large skillet. When the bacon has started to crisp up add the shallots and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Next add the peas; stir to coat them with fat and cook for no more than another 2-3 minutes. The peas should darken and maybe even brown in a few spots but you don't want them to lose their crunch. Stir in the garlic for 30 seconds, then the cream.
At this point the pasta should be out of the pot and into a colander.
Allow the cream to reach a simmer, then throw in half the cheese, half the parsley, and all of the pasta. Stir everything together and allow to simmer for a minute or two, or until the sauce is at an ideal consistently. Serve immediately topped with the rest of the parsley and parmesan and a few healthy turns of black pepper.