Recipe: Pasta with tomato, bacon and peas

Recipe: Pasta with tomato, bacon and peas

credit: Rob McBryde

Real crowd pleaser that can handle whatever pasta you’ve got in your cupboard

Edinburgh food and lifestyle blogger Chiara Pannozzo shares some tasty dishes and drinks to impress your pals and stop your mum sending you all those leaflets about scurvy

This is a real crowd pleaser. It’s based on the traditional penne amatriciana, which is more or less the same thing, except my recipe includes peas. If you like a bit more heat, all you need to do is add a little more chilli. I like to use penne or rigatoni tubes for this dish, as the sauce fills the tubes, making it really tasty, but spaghetti also works. Really, you can use whatever pasta you’ve got in your cupboard – that’s the beauty of this dish.


250g your choice of pasta
3 slices bacon, fat trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
250g tomato passata
½ tbsp dried oregano
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ tsp chilli powder
2 tbsp cream cheese (I use Philadelphia Light)
75g peas
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Cook the pasta in a large pan of salted boiling water, according to the packet instructions. In a separate pan, add a glug of olive oil. Once the oil has heated up – this should only take a minute – sauté the onion and garlic for a few minutes and then add in the bacon. Cook on a medium heat for three to four minutes, or until the bacon is cooked and the onion has softened. Add the oregano and stir well.

Pour in the passata and chilli powder and turn the heat up a little to bring the sauce to a simmer. When the sauce starts to simmer, add in the cream cheese, one tablespoon at a time, stirring well until each tablespoon of cheese has melted into the sauce. Add the peas and cook for a further two minutes.

Drain the pasta, putting a little of the cooking water to one side in case you need to thin the sauce a little. Add the sauce to the pasta, mix well and season to taste.

You’ll find you have two generous portions of pasta here. Depending on how hungry you are, you might even find it will stretch to feed three. Either way, this is a delicious pasta dish that doesn’t break the bank.