the lightning strike saga and a recipe: pasta with peas, asparagus, and bacon

Here in Florida, we seem to have had our five minutes of spring and now we’re entering full-fledged summer. For us that means weekend trips to our community pool, using the grill regularly, sitting on the front porch watching the kids play until bedtime, and dinners outside on the back patio.

It also means thunderstorms with lightning. You may not know this, but Florida ranks number one for number of lightning strikes per year, and it ranks in the top ten for number of lightning-strike deaths in the country. And, as some of you who follow me on Twitter know, two weeks ago our house was struck by lightning and we had a bit of damage. Nothing serious, but enough to be quite annoying. When it struck the house, the lightning traveled through the electrical wiring. It blew some fuses (not a big deal),  my husband’s desktop computer (a bigger deal), our outdoor lighting, the internet and cable phone, and our refrigerator (the biggest deal).

I’ve done a lot of whining and complaining about not having a fridge, but truthfully, things could be a lot worse. We have a small fridge in our garage that we bought when I was breastfeeding my daughter over six years ago – mostly to hold the gallons of milk that I was producing. Too much information, right? But seriously, I was  producing like a dairy cow. Buying a spare fridge was a lot more practical than keeping my milk in my neighbors’ refrigerators (which we did for a short time).  I’m very thankful for that back-up fridge. It was a lifesaver for me back then, and it’s been a lifesaver for our family these last two weeks.

On the upside of things, my husband may finally get that Mac I’ve been dreaming about for him (me). Also, we’re getting a new refrigerator next week thanks to that extended warranty we purchased on the old one.

The point of all this? We’ve been trying to prepare meals that don’t leave us with a lot of leftovers and don’t require a lot of storage or purchasing of unusual ingredients. When I saw the cover of Bon Appètit this month, I knew that the cover recipe would be a perfect meal for us. After all, we had most everything already – just needed to purchase the asparagus.

I made just a few changes to the recipe, mostly so that I could use up ingredients we already had. I used orecchiette instead of fettucine and bacon instead of pancetta. I also try to lighten things up when possible, so I used half-and-half instead of cream. I probably needed to add a bit more to make it creamier, but it was perfectly delicious the way it was.

As a bonus – and deserving of a pat on the back, if I do say so myself – was the fact that my daughter loved it. Turns out she thought the asparagus pieces were green beans. Score one for mommy!

Yield: Serves 4.

Orecchiette with Peas, Asparagus, & Bacon


12 ounces orecchiette pasta
3 ounces bacon, chopped
1 1/4 pounds asparagus, trimmed, cut on diagonal into 1-inch pieces
2 cups frozen peas (do not thaw)
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced, white and pale green parts separated from dark green parts
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for serving
1/3 cup heavy cream (I used half-and-half instead)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil, divided
Kosher salt, to taste
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste


Cook pasta in pot of salted boiling water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot.

Meanwhile, cook bacon in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate to drain. Pour off all but 1 teaspoon drippings from skillet. Add asparagus to drippings in skillet and sauté 3 minutes. Add peas, white and pale green parts of green onions, and garlic; sauté until vegetables are just tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Add vegetable mixture, 1/4 cup pasta cooking liquid, dark green parts of green onions, 1/2 cup Parmesan, cream, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, half of parsley, and half of basil to pasta. Toss, adding more pasta cooking liquid by tablespoonfuls if needed. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Transfer to large bowl. Sprinkle bacon, remaining parsley and basil over. Serve, passing additional Parmesan cheese.

Only slightly tweaked from this recipe in Bon Appètit, May 2010.

    Pin It

19 Responses to “the lightning strike saga and a recipe: pasta with peas, asparagus, and bacon”

  1. 1
    Debbie — May 12, 2010 @ 9:06 pm

    This looks soo yummy, I don’t think i’ve tried asparagus in pasta!

    • 1.1
      merrygourmet — May 12, 2010 @ 9:11 pm

      Oh, Debbie, you really should! There was just the right amount of sweetness from the vegetables – it was perfect.

  2. 2
    Mauna — May 12, 2010 @ 9:41 pm

    We made this same recipe last week, it was a perfect dish to highlight the vegetables. In fact, we made a version that left out the bacon and substituted butter and a little extra lemon juice for my vegetarian mother.
    I have to admit, I was briefly concerned that you had used six year old breast milk as a substitute might for the cream. Thank you for not going in that direction.

    • 2.1
      merrygourmet — May 12, 2010 @ 10:09 pm

      Mauna – I loved the lemon juice in it, actually, so I bet your version was great. Yes, this post could have gone in an interesting direction, but I played it safe. 🙂 Hey – aren’t you supposed to be off honeymooning or something?

  3. 3
    SMITH BITES — May 13, 2010 @ 8:23 am

    I knew there was a reason I don’t live in Florida – those nasty storms! But hoo-boy, to get a new Mac out of the deal? Might, and I say might, be worth it! I made the switch from PC to Mac a few years ago and have never looked back! I too, made the recipe – it totally rocks!

  4. 4
    Jason Phelps — May 13, 2010 @ 9:32 am

    Sorry to hear about the lightining damage, killing the fridge is definitely a downer for a foodie.

    I remember the first 3 day power outtage we had in NH (during the winter of course) when we hadn’t yet purchased a generator. No stove (we still don’t when this happens), but no microwave, fridges and freezers needed to be kept closed and the deep freeze items needed to go outside. Now we have the generator so keeping things safe in the fridge/freezer is fine and the microwave comes in handy. I still have to use the gas grill, flat top on the wood stove and other tricks to cook. I see it as fun. Winter storm outtages seem like an annual occurence now, lets see 8 days in 2008, 3 days this season, so I look forward to a pot of woodstove stew every January!


  5. 5
    C and C Dish — May 13, 2010 @ 10:32 am

    This looks great, thanks for sharing your tweaked version=}

  6. 6
    The Duo Dishes — May 13, 2010 @ 3:07 pm

    Beautiful, springy recipe! That looks quite good.

  7. 7
    Velva — May 13, 2010 @ 7:41 pm

    Sorry to hear about the lightening strike on your home.
    Love the tweaked version of the pasta recipe. It really looks good. I know it tastes delicious, because I made it too shortly after recieving my Bon Appetit.

    btw, Heather sent me your link. I am glad that she did!

    • 7.1
      merrygourmet — May 13, 2010 @ 9:40 pm

      Velva – I’m glad she did, too! Welcome!

  8. 8
    The Housewife — May 14, 2010 @ 3:35 am

    This is the perfect ‘post farmer’s market visit’ recipe! Its a great recipe that’s perfect for spring.

  9. 9

    What a simple but super tasty recipe! I’m craving pasta right now so your recipe looks very tempting…

  10. 10
    Simply Life — May 14, 2010 @ 4:42 pm

    Wow, that looks delicious!!

  11. 11
    Katie Newell — May 14, 2010 @ 11:52 pm

    This looks amazing! I completely by-passed this dish (on Bon Appetit) because my mini foodies (2 yr and 9 mth) are anti-fettucine (or spagetti or linguinie). They love “pig ears” and asparagus. I will definately be trying this soon.

    ~Katie Newell

  12. 12
    Barbara @ VinoLuciStyle — May 15, 2010 @ 9:47 am

    I wandered over here cause I wanted to check out something I had revised on your site (found out how to get rid of that default text in the search box; think we pretty much know to input a search term and hit enter) and found we’ve made the same dish, sort of. Same recipe…different substitutions!

    Go to Bon Appetit’s Facebook page and let them know! And tweet @bonappetitmag – They’ve been great about working WITH bloggers and not thinking we are the devil.

    I hadn’t heard about the lightening strike; just gives me the heebie jeebies thinking about it; glad you’re all OK…that’s what matters (although if I found myself without a computer or the Internet I might question if I really was OK!).

  13. Pingback: Tweets that mention the lightning strike saga and a recipe: pasta with peas, asparagus, and bacon | the merry gourmet --

  14. Pingback: Vino Luci Style - A food and wine blog with recipes and wine reviews – Recipe: Pasta with Peas, Asparagus and Bacon

  15. Pingback: Pasta with Peas, Asparagus and Bacon — Denver, Colorado Food Blog with Recipes including main dishes, side dishes, soup, salads and desserts - Creative Culinary

  16. Pingback: Recipes: Meal Plans with Vegetables

Leave a Comment