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Les petits chefs – Food Revolution Week 1

Jamie Oliver’s mini shell pasta with peas, bacon and mint sauce

10 slices smoked streaky bacon or pancetta, preferably free-range or organic
a small bunch of fresh mint
150g Parmesan cheese
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
optional: 1 chicken stock cube, preferably organic
400g dried mini shell pasta
olive oil
a knob of butter
300g frozen peas
2 heaped dessertspoons crème fraîche (we used sour cream)
1 lemon

Main courses, Serves 4-6
Jamie says: This is one of the dishes I cook for my kids, but to be honest, it’s so good that me and Jools always eat it too! Mini pasta shells are actually meant to be added to soups, but they’re quick and easy to cook, which makes them a good thing to serve with pasta sauces. All in all this should take you no more than five and a half minutes to cook. However, if you decide to go for a bigger type of pasta, remember that it will need more time to cook than these mini shells.

To prepare your pasta
Finely slice the bacon
Pick the mint leaves and discard the stalks
Finely grate the Parmesan

To cook your pasta
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and drop in the stock cube (if using)
Stir until it’s dissolved, then add the mini shells and cook according to the packet instructions
Get a large frying pan over a medium heat and add a good lug of olive oil and the butter
Add the bacon to the pan, sprinkle a little pepper over and fry until golden and crisp
Meanwhile, finely chop your mint leaves
As soon as the bacon is golden, add your frozen peas and give the pan a good shake
After a minute or so, add the crème fraîche and chopped mint to the bacon and peas
Drain the pasta in a colander over a large bowl, reserving some of the cooking water
Add the pasta to the frying pan
Halve your lemon and squeeze the juice over the pasta
When it’s all bubbling away nicely, remove from the heat
The sauce should be creamy and delicious but if it’s too thick for you, add a splash of the reserved cooking water to thin it out a bit
Add the grated Parmesan and give the pan a shake to mix it in

To serve your pasta
Divide your pasta between plates or bowls, or put it on the table in a large serving dish and let everyone help themselves
Lovely with a simply dressed green salad