Farfalle with ham, sage, and peas

Gordon Ramsay:  That guy can cook.

Today was a good day for eating.  When P. and I rolled out of bed we rolled our way to Dinkel’s.  Custard. Bismarck. You want one.  Their coffee is pretty good, too.

For dinner, we pulled out Gordon Ramsay’s “Cooking for Friends,” a Christmas present that last yielded lemon-feta-basil pasta. I do plan to move beyond the pasta section eventually, but if all the pasta recipes are keepers like the lemon-basil stuff and tonight’s farfalle, I’ll be in no hurry.


  • 14 oz dried farfalle (or penne, or shells, or ziti – something short and thick)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 oz thick-sliced lean bacon, chopped (I substituted about 7 oz of diced ham steak, since I had it in the house courtesy of Pork Lady)
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced (I used three, and that was an awesome plan)
  • 1.5 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup green peas, thawed if frozen
  • 2/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, with a little more for sprinkling on top
  • small handful each of fresh sage and flat leaf parsley, leaves only (I chopped these finely)

Cook the pasta according to the directions until it is al dente.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and then add the bacon.  Fry over high heat until bacon is golden brown (3-4 minutes).  Add the garlic and fry for a minute. Pour in the cream and bring to a boil. Let simmer until reduced and thickened slightly, about 5 minutes.  Tip in the peas, bring to a simmer, and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Stir the grated parmesan into the sauce, then taste and add salt and pepper to your liking.

When the pasta is ready, drain it in a colander and immediately tip it into the sauce.  Add the herbs and toss the pasta until well-coated with the creamy sauce.  Divide among warm plates and sprinkle with a little more parmesan before serving.  Serves 4.

It’s incredibly rich, filling comfort food.  And there’s enough for lunch tomorrow.


11 responses to “Farfalle with ham, sage, and peas

  1. I just found your blog a few days ago and am totally in love with you … uh … I mean the blog.

    Like you I am also following Michael Pollan’s “In Defense of Food” rules as much as I can and I am also what some (nice people) would call “zaftig”.

    Oh and I am in Chicago, sort of close to a lot of the restaurants and bakeries you write about (I live about a 10 min walk away from Dinkels) and I can’t wait to try some of the places you mention on your blog.

    So thanks for keeping on blogging!
    Oh and try this recipe – it might be the best thing I have ever eaten (the butternut squash farfalle – I am not affiliated with this blog – I just feel compelled to inform people about this recipe after trying it myself):

    • Thanks for the nice words, Aline.

      I haven’t been to Austria in a long time – where is home for you? I spent a pretty magical spring break in Salzburg when I was studying in Prague. The hills WERE alive with the sound of music.

      I’m a big fan of pumpkin and butternut squash – all those orange vegetables – so thanks for the recipe. Maybe I’ll run into you at Dinkel’s one of these mornings.

  2. Home – I really don’t know. I lived in Holland for 7 years and Amsterdam and Delft are the places I miss most, much more than Austria. But I have been living in Chicago for a year and a half now and it’s starting to become my home. At least I have no intentions of moving away.

    • Oh! I just got back from a trip to Delft and Amsterdam, and I’ve been trying my damnedest to find oliebollen and rijsttafel in Chicago.

      On oliebollen, I am stumped, and the closest rijsttafel is in Madison. The Boy I Love and I have already planned a Madisonian trek, come spring. Any news of such delights closer to home would be MOST welcome.

      At least there’s the Pannenkoeken Cafe in Lincoln Square. 🙂

      (P.S. Belated welcomes to Chicago!)

  3. OMG, this sounds divine!!!

    Happy New Year — I hope you’re doing well. 🙂

  4. Unfortunately like you I found that there are no Indonesian restaurants except the one in Madison. There used to be Cafe Amsterdam in some suburb of Chicago but unfortunately they closed. I haven’t been to the one in Madison but like you guys, my man and I were planning a trip up once it gets a bit warmer, to check out the Indonesian restaurant in Madison. I love Madison anyway.

    The Pannenkoeken Cafe is also high up on my list of places to try. I haven’t been yet despite working pretty much right next to it for a few month (I worked at the Dankhaus for a while last summer).

    I actually had oliebollen at the Christmas market on Lincoln square in December – they were selling them as “Krapfen”. But that’s not a Krapfen. The custard bismark at Dinkels – that’s a Krapfen.

  5. Hey! I have most of these ingredients at my house!

  6. Oh, how delicious-looking! It is reminding me of one of my favorite pasta recipes from Neil Perry with artichokes and pancetta. I will cook this for you soon.

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