Looking for a hearty and easy weeknight dinner that’s packed with flavor? Try my Pasta with Turmeric, Bacon, and Peas recipe! PLUS: learn more about the health benefits of turmeric and how to use it in cooking.
It’s going to be 85 degrees in Portland today, and I’m sharing a rich, hearty, oh so satisfying comfort food pasta recipe.
Because it’s pasta, folks. Pasta knows no seasons. It knows no boundaries.
Pasta looks at you with its big starchy eyes and soothingly sings “Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall, all you have to do is call… and I’ll be there…yeah yeah… you’ve got a friend.”
Okay, maybe that was James Taylor who sang that (and yes, I used to listen to that when I was a young child, which means that yes, I am old). But even though I’ve cut back on grains and carbs, pasta is still my friend, no matter what season.
Pasta knows. Pasta understands.
Pasta with Turmeric, Bacon, and Peas
Today’s pasta recipe is a twist on my son’s personal favorite pasta dish that I make: fettuccine with bacon and peas.
Normally I make a dairy-free cream sauce that’s built from a salty, savory bacon base, then add peas. Voila, pasta with bacon and peas. Done! So fast and delicious.
Recently, I decided to add some turmeric to my regular dairy-free creamy pasta sauce, and lo and behold: it was AMAZING!! The flavor was bigger, bolder, and sassier than ever without being spicy (because I’m a total spice wimp).
Turmeric is a spice that traditionally grows in Southeast Asia. You’ve likely enjoyed it Indian, Thai, Pakistani, and Persian dishes at restaurants.
During my recent trip to Kauai, some trip mates went on a tour of Kauai Farmacy, where they learned all about the health benefits and practical applications of various spices – turmeric being one of them.
I was lucky enough to be given a container of their turmeric, cacao, and ginger spice blend to take home. It’s a delicious addition to so many foods!
Potential Health Benefits of Turmeric
While, like many spices, the health benefits touted by the medical community vary, here are a few reported health benefits of this tasty spice:
- naturally detoxes the liver
- contains anti-inflammatory properties and has been used to help treat arthritis and lessen joint pain, as well as inflammatory skin problems
- has been used in various treatments for breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, skin cancer, and more
- In China, turmeric has been used to help treat depression
Using turmeric in your diet
- Blend it into your smoothies
- Drink it either as a tea or add it to your tea
- Add it to your pasta sauce (like I did in today’s recipe!)
- Mix it into your salad dressing
- Add it to your dry rub spice mixes for super tasty veggie and meat dishes
Pasta with Turmeric, Bacon, and Peas Recipe
- 16 ounces spaghetti
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 4 strips bacon chopped into smaller pieces (about 1/2" wide pieces)
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- 3 Tablespoons dry white wine or chicken stock
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
- Optional: salt & freshly ground pepper to taste grated parmesan cheese, chopped fresh parsley
- Prepare pasta according to package directions.
- While water is boiling and pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce.
- In a large saucepan, heat butter over medium-high heat until it is just melted.
- Add bacon pieces and stir to cook evenly, about 4-6 minutes.
- When bacon is just cooked to your liking, add garlic and continue stirring and cooking for another minute. Sprinkle flour over the bacon and garlic, and stir until it's mixed in.
- Slowly pour wine or stock in and stir.
- Add milk, turmeric powder, salt and pepper. Turn down heat to low-medium and allow to simmer, stirring every now and then, until the sauce has thickened. This usually takes about 5 minutes.
- Add the peas to the sauce and stir. If you are using frozen peas, this will bring the heat of the sauce down a bit and you'll just need to cook the sauce for a couple of extra minutes until the heat evens back out and the peas are fully thawed out in the sauce.
- Add cooked pasta to the sauce, along with 1/4 cup of reserved hot starchy pasta water.
- Stir everything together until the pasta is well coated with the sauce.
- Add salt and pepper to taste as needed, along with freshly grated parmesan cheese if you desire. Feel free to garnish with parsley if you're feeling fancy.
- Devour immediately.
Also: feel free to less turmeric powder if you are just starting out cooking with turmeric. The flavor is strong for some people and not too strong for others, so if you're new to cooking with turmeric, it's best to start out low and slow! Try 1/2 teaspoon to start and then work your way up.
Do you like the taste of turmeric? What’s your favorite way of enjoying this super spice?