Creamy Pecorino Orecchiette with Roast Tomatoes, Basil and Peas

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Nothing is better than an easy delicious pasta recipe on a lazy Sunday.  This recipe has so much flavor, yet was so simple to throw together!  I really enjoyed cooking like this, it amassed a few pots and pans but each item can easily cook in it’s own pot, no stress, and then at the end you mix it all together and it was really all just meant to be.  We tossed the tomatoes in the oven while water came to a boil for the peas and pasta on the stove.  That left time to dice up the bacon and brown it.  Cook the pasta, blanch the peas, thicken the sauce, remove tomatoes, and toss it all together.

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The original recipe was a little heavier on the cheese, heavy cream and bacon fat, so we altered it to be “lighter” although I wouldn’t say this is the healthiest dish to make.  We love the bright peas and basil along with the roasted tomatoes and creamy sauce over those cute Orecchiette noodles ( mini turtle shells!).  Easy, flavorful, veggieful, creamy perfection- enjoy!

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Recipe adapted from What Katie Ate
Serves 6-8

10 ounces cherry tomatoes
Olive oil, for cooking
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Large handful of fresh basil leaves, half roughly torn, half rough chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
16 ounces frozen peas
1.25 pounds orecchiette pasta
5 slices bacon, cut into small chunks
2 cups heavy cream
4 ounces pecorino, grated
1 cup fat free milk

Directions 
Preheat your oven to 400.

On a jelly roll pan lined with parchment toss the tomatoes, a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper, 1/2 the basil ( torn) and oregano. Roast for about 15 minutes or until the tomatoes are blistered.

Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Blanch the peas for 3-4 minutes. Drain.

Bring a large stock pot of salted water to a boil, cook your pasta until al dente. Drain and set aside.

While your pasta is cooking, heat a drizzle of olive oil in dutch oven style pot over medium high heat. Cook the bacon until crispy.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon to a paper towel lined plate and drain most of the bacon fat out of the pot.  Pour in the cream, milk and bacon and stir to coat. Add the Pecorino Cheese, a little bit of salt and a nice hit of freshly ground black pepper. (Be careful to not over salt) Reduce the heat to low and cook for about 10-12 minutes until the sauce is reduced and coated the spoon.

Add Orrechiette and Peas to the sauce.  Add your roasted tomatoes on top, and the remaining basil ( a little more Pecorino grated) Taste to adjust seasoning, add more pepper or salt to taste.

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