Sunday, 15 May 2011

Mini Shell Pasta

Keeping in with the spirit of Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food, I am doing as he asked - learn a recipe and pass it on.

I first made this pasta dish a couple of years ago and it has since become a family staple, because yes - it is another quick and easy tea. You're sensing a theme here on my blog aren't you?  I picked it because it looked simple and it was. It was also surprisingly tasty seeing as the ingredients are very basic.

I couldn't find any mini shells, so I just used the big ones. Nobody could ever accuse me of not being resourceful... Jamie also uses a chicken stock cube in his original recipe which I miss out because I don't feel it needs it. 

Mini Shell Pasta


10 slices smoked streaky bacon or pancetta, finely sliced
small bunch of fresh mint, leaves finely chopped (discard stalks)
150g Parmesan cheese, finely grated.
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
400g dried shell pasta
olive oil
knob of butter
300g frozen peas
2 heaped tbsp creme fraiche
1 lemon


Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add the pasta.  Cook according to the packet instructions.

In a large frying pan add a tbsp of olive oil and the butter and heat over a medium heat.  Add the bacon to the pan and season. Fry until golden.  

As soon as the bacon is golden, add the peas and give the pan a good shake.  Cook for one minute before adding the creme fraiche and chopped mint.

Drain the pasta, reserving some of the cooking water, and add the pasta to the frying pan.  Halve the lemon and squeeze the juice over the pasta. When it's bubbling, remove the pan from the heat. 

If you feel the sauce is too thick, add some of the reserved water to thin it.  Add the grated Parmesan and shake the pan to mix it in.  Serve immediately. 

I really enjoy this meal, as does Mr M and the children.  The recipe listed here serves 4-6 (depending on how hungry people are) but is obviously easily halved   

Jamie suggests serving this with a simply dressed green salad, I however serve it with some yummy garlic bread - I like my carbs with a bit more carbs on the side.

love & kisses
Mrs M x


  1. You've used *mini* pasta shells - you sell out!

    Looks very scrummy. :)

  2. Damn, plus I mentioned Jamie Oliver.


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