During December 2011, I experienced 3 gallbladder attacks within a week and a half. Although I don't think my diet was THAT bad before this happened, I decided after the third one to drastically alter my eating habits. So, for at least the next couple of months (until my baby comes), my goal is to seek out and share low-fat, high fiber, and low-sugar recipes. I figured as long as I was figuring things out for myself and my family, I may as well share what's working!

June 18, 2010

Carb Loading: Pasta with Creamy Bacon and Pea Sauce

Now that Ryan's marathon is in a little over a week, I've finally put myself together enough to post Carb Loading on Friday!  Tonight will be my last Friday night pasta for a while.  Next week, Ryan's brother is making his delicious lasagna for the pre-marathon meal.  We're looking forward to that!  And then there will be no more need to carb load the night before long Saturday morning runs.  (Which I'm OK with--the whole pasta every Friday night is starting to get a little too routine for my culinary tastes.)

On to the recipe.  This recipe sounds AMAZING.  And that's what I thought when I bookmarked it.  And, that's what my father-in-law said when he read the recipe sitting on my counter.  In reality, it wasn't amazing.  I'm not sure why.  It could have easily been my techniques or substitutions, but something about it just didn't jive well for us.  I'm not saying it was gross.  (I wouldn't post a gross recipe on here.)  But, it just wasn't anything to write home about.  And that, my friends, is the entire point of this blog.  We tried something new and decided it just wasn't our thing.  However, it might be your thing.  Let me know if it is.

Pasta with Creamy Bacon and Pea Sauce
(Adapted from Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Cookbook)
Serves 4

1 lb. small shaped pasta
1-2 Tbls olive oil
1-2 Tbls butter
10 slices bacon or pancetta, cut into short thin strips
2 cups frozen peas
2 heaping Tbls creme fraiche
1 small bunch mint, finely chopped
salt and pepper
juice of one lemon
6 oz. parmesan cheese

Boil a large pot of well-salted water.  Add pasta.  While pasta is cooking, melt olive oil and butter in saute pan; add bacon and cook until crispy.  Add peas; stir to combine and let peas defrost a little.  Add mint and creme fraiche; stir until creme fraiche is melted and peas are coated.  Drain pasta; add to pea mixture.  Pour lemon juice over top and stir well to combine.  Top with parmesan cheese and serve.

NOTES: OK--so I think that our rejection of this dish was probably based on my substitutions.  I have a Costco-sized bag of bacon bits.  They are useful and add great flavor to so many foods.  I didn't want to have to use bacon when the bits, (some of which are just fat), would do just fine.  So, I used those instead.  I let them cook in the oil/butter for a few minutes.  It improved their texture and released some flavor.  But, it didn't release much of the grease.

I also didn't happen to have creme fraiche.  And, I couldn't find it at my local grocery.  I'm sure I could have tried another store--but trucking 3 kids into another store wasn't worth the possibility of creme fraiche.  I already had low-fat sour cream, so I used about 1/3 cup of that instead.  In hindsight, I probably should have added a little milk to make it more of a sauce than just a coating.

And, apparently, not finding certain ingredients is the story of my life.  I couldn't find the fresh mint either. I used dried--although the fresh probably would have improved the taste.

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