Pasta with Asparagus and Peas in a Creamy (Non-dairy) Bacon Sauce

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The other day I was at Walmart doing my grocery shopping and found a huge sale on asparagus. Since asparagus is a Spring veggie, there’s plenty of supply right now which makes my wallet and my stomach very happy. I love asparagus, but for most of the year it’s ridiculously expensive.

Frozen or gawd awful canned asparagus is not even worth trying in my opinion. Both are pretty horrid with their mushy, slimy consistency. Makes you want to drop everything and run out to buy them, huh. So I’ve stocked up on the tasty fresh spears and am using them in salads and entrees.

I wanted to make a pasta dish with them last night and combined them with peas that are another Spring time veggie. Now those I don’t mind frozen because peas don’t get all weird. Canned peas are still a little iffy, but you can’t win every battle. Most people think that pasta is off limits when dieting or eating healthy.

One of the tricks is to punch up the flavor in the sauce and add in extra veggies so that you can get away with using fewer noodles. You still get the noodle taste and texture without all of the calories. The bacon in this recipe added a great smokey, salty flavor to the sauce. It made the house smell wonderful too.

Pasta with Asparagus and Peas in a Creamy (Non-dairy) Bacon Sauce Pasta with Asparagus and Peas

  • 8 oz (224g) uncooked spaghetti noodles
  • 2 slices pre-cooked bacon
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 cups (360g) fresh asparagus
  • 1 1/3 (178g) cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 16 oz grilled chicken breast, optional

Cook the spaghetti noodles according to package directions and drain. Chop the bacon slices into small pieces. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the bacon pieces.

Cook the bacon for about 2 minutes and add the minced garlic. Cook for another minute or so, and make sure to stir it a bit so the garlic doesn’t burn. Add the asparagus, peas, and almond milk.

Bring to a slow simmer and steam the asparagus for about 5 – 7 minutes until tender. If you’re adding chicken, cut the chicken breasts into bite sized pieces and add them to the asparagus during the last couple minutes to warm them.

Remove from heat and add salt and pepper to taste. Toss the sauce with the pasta noodles and divide equally into 4 bowls.

Makes 4 pretty huge servings at approximately 420 calories each with chicken – 39g protein, 50g carbs and 7g fat. OR 290 calories each without chicken – 15g protein, 50g carbs and 4g fat.

Notes

  • I used pre-cooked bacon in this recipe to save time. I try to keep a package on hand to use in sandwiches, omelets, and things like this recipe. You can use regular bacon if you like. Just cook it in the pan and then cut it into pieces.
  • Use more or less noodles based on what you like. It was plenty noodley for us, but you could definitely add more. Give linguine or other shapes a try too.
  • If you can have dairy, you can use regular milk in place of the almond milk. Other milks would probably work too. Let me know in the comments if you try soy, rice, hemp, etc so we know how it works out.

The Kid and I both loved this dish. Mine was the version with chicken and she opted for without. Next time I might add a little crushed red pepper to the sauce to give it some spice.

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