A while ago I was incredibly lucky to win a giveaway that was hosted by my friend Katerina of the lovely blog, Culinary Flavors (thank you so much, Katerina!). The prize was a beautiful assortment of Greek specialty foods, including the delicious Greek pasta Hilopites, which are small, square noodles made with milk and eggs.
I couldn’t wait to dig in to this lovely pasta right away, so I looked in my fridge to see what veggies I had on hand that would pair well with it. I knew there would be slim pickings since I hadn’t been to the grocery store for a stock up on fresh produce (and at the time I wasn’t able to go to the grocery store due to our wonderful abundance of snow!)…I was right, no broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, bell pepper, carrots, or even scallions. I did find a couple of fresh lemons and some garlic though, which was a pretty good start. A glance into the cheese drawer revealed some Kefalotiri that of course I had to incorporate. (Funny how even when I’m out of fresh produce, I’m never out of specialty cheese, isn’t it? Priorities… ;) )
The freezer was also helpful, since I always keep a stash of frozen fruits and veggies in the there for occasions just like this. Frozen peas caught my eye along with some turkey bacon, and suddenly I had myself a pasta dish.
(Yield: 2 servings)
4 oz small pasta, any shape you like (I used Hilopites)
1 c frozen peas, thawed
2 1/2 TB olive oil, divided
4 slices turkey bacon
1 medium-large clove garlic, minced
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
1/2 a small-medium lemon, washed, rinsed, and thinly sliced into circles (or 1 TB lemon juice)
Fresh shaved Kefalotiri cheese (or fresh shaved Parmegiano-Reggiano)
Salt and pepper
Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions. Put peas in a mesh sieve to drain.
Heat 1 TB oil a medium skillet over medium heat; add bacon and cook until browned on both sides (about 2-4 minutes per side). Transfer bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess oil; cool, then crumble.
Heat 1 TB oil in a small saucepan over low heat; add garlic and crushed red pepper flakes and cook 1-2 minutes; turn off heat and add lemon slices.
In a large bowl, toss together pasta, peas, crumbled bacon, garlic/lemon sauce, shaved cheese, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Transfer to 2 serving dishes and drizzle the remaining 1/2 TB oil on top.