When I was in college, [ the fact that this sentence starts with “When” makes me feel so old] Anyhow, I used to meet my Aunt Bernadette for lunch in Center City when we were just blocks away from one another. One day, she took me to this small Italian place called Bellini Grill. It’s located on 16 st. between Locust and Walnut. Its a BYOB and the food is really good, just simple Italian. During lunch they serve hot panini, and salads, but I always went with their pasta dish called Pasta Bellini.
The dish description:
penne with mushroom, peas & bacon in a pink cream sauce
Well, since the first time I had that dish, I just had to rip off the recipe.
However, I make mine, without mushrooms since I do not really like them, and add onions instead. I think that I have made this dish at least 50 times since then and everyone who has it really likes it. Every time my best friends come over for dinner they ask me to make it and I never mind, since it only takes 30 mins to make, ok now I sound like Rachael Ray. Here’s the recipe:
one lb. pasta (any kind I like penne)
1 qt. heavy cream
1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 clove garlic chopped
3/4 cup grated cheese (I only use Locatelli Pecorino Romano)
1 tbsp fresh basil chopped (sometimes I cheat and used dried)
1 vidalia onion chopped
1 can peas
1/2 lb. bacon
salt and pepper to taste (sorry I never measure this)
So first, start a pot of boiling water, and begin frying your bacon. Once the bacon is finished set aside. Throw the onions and garlic in the pan, coat with a little olive oil and simmer until translucent. While they simmer, in a pot or deep pan, pour your heavy cream, crushed tomatoes, grated cheese, remaining olive oil and simmer on low. The goal is to cook this slowly until it thickens. Add in the basil, salt and pepper. Once, the water is boiling throw in the pasta and add the onions and garlic to your sauce mixture. Keep sauce and simmer, stir every few mins until it thickens. Pour over pasta and garnish with the peas.