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.
- 4 oz small pasta, any shape you like (I used Hilopites)
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 2½ tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 4 slices turkey bacon
- 1 medium-large clove garlic, minced
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
- ½ small-medium lemon, washed, rinsed, and thinly sliced into circles (or 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice)
- Fresh shaved Kefalotiri cheese or fresh shaved Parmegiano-Reggiano
- Salt and pepper
- Cook the pasta to al dente according to package directions; drain and set aside.
- Put the peas in a mesh sieve under hot running water for a few seconds and then leave to drain.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil a medium skillet over medium heat; add the bacon and cook until browned on both sides (about 2 to 4 minutes per side). Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil; cool, then crumble.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small saucepan over low heat; add the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the lemon slices.
- In a large bowl, toss together the pasta, peas, crumbled bacon, garlic/lemon sauce, shaved cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer the pasta to 2 serving dishes and drizzle the remaining ½ tablespoon oil on top.