Greg and I celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary in September by going to dinner at Purple Cafe in Kirkland. It's one of our favorite restaurants, and we often go there when we have a reason to celebrate. It happened to be a relatively warm end of summer/beginning of fall evening, so we sat on the patio, right next to the big doors they have open to the restaurant.
I almost always order their BLTA...I love a BLT but this is a delicious version, with avocado and a deliciously zippy red pepper mayo. But I was feeling like going out of the norm, and was thinking about ordering a risotto (they always have a risotto of some sort on their menu). Unfortunately, on the menu that night was a shellfish risotto, and I'm allergic to shellfish. So that was out. I still wanted to try something new, and after consulting with our server, decided to go with the Sweet Pea and Bacon Pasta.
It was absolutely amazing. Of course, my luck, it's an item on their summer menu, and is no longer being served. So I decided to try to recreate it tonight, and I think it turned out pretty darn good (Greg and Cam both enjoyed it, so that's a good start!).
I started off by frying up 6 slices of bacon. They were pretty meaty, so not a lot of fat was rendered. I took the bacon out and added 3/4 cup each of frozen peas and corn to the warm pan and bacon drippings. I also thinly sliced one very small bulb of fennel and added that to the pan as well as a tablespoon or two of garlic flavored olive oil. Once that was heated through, I added the bacon back in.
Meanwhile, I cooked up about 3 cups (dry) of campanelle pasta in salted water. I think it's important to salt the water slightly for this dish, to add a little extra flavor to the pasta. Once it's cooked (about ten minutes), I drained it, put it back in the pot, and added the pea and corn mixture.
Add a bit of salt and pepper to taste, and then plate it up. Place some shaved Parmesan cheese on top, and dig in!