Recipe

Creamy carbonara pasta bake with peas

On a cold winter evening, especially in the middle of the week, there's nothing like a warm, creamy pasta bake to fill your family up.

  • 45 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
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Ingredients

Creamy carbonara pasta bake with peas
  • 375 gram small pasta shells
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 6 shortcut rindless bacon slices (150g)
  • cooking-oil spray
  • 1 1/4 cup (310ml) pouring cream (see tips)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup (80g) coarsely grated parmesan cheese

Method

Creamy carbonara pasta bake with peas
  • 1
    Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F.
  • 2
    Half-fill a large saucepan with water; cover with a lid. Heat on the stove over high heat until the water boils. Add the pasta; cook, uncovered, until tender (check the packet instructions for how long this should take). About 1 minute before the pasta is ready, add the peas to the pan; cook for 1 minute. Place a colander over a large heatproof bowl in the sink. Pour the pasta and peas into the colander; reserve about ¼ cup of the cooking liquid in the bowl and drain the rest down the sink. Return pasta and peas to the pan.
  • 3
    Meanwhile, trim any fat from the bacon; chop bacon coarsely. Spray a small frying pan with the cooking oil. Heat the pan on the stove for 30 seconds over medium-high heat. Add the bacon; cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, for about 4 minutes or until the bacon is browned.
  • 4
    Whisk the cream, egg and half the cheese in a medium bowl or jug with a fork until combined.
  • 5
    Pour the cream mixture over the pasta and peas. Add bacon and 2 tablespoons of the pasta cooking liquid; mix well. Spoon pasta mixture into a 2-litre (8-cup) ovenproof dish or into four 2-cup (500ml) ovenproof dishes; sprinkle with the rest of the cheese.
  • 6
    Place the dish on an oven tray; place in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the top is golden brown.

Notes

It is fine to use just the one 300ml carton of cream. Cook the pasta 'al dente'; this means there should be a slight resistance in the centre when the pasta is chewed. It should not be soft.

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