Cheesy Bowtie Pasta with Peas and Bacon

Family friendly pasta, loaded with cheese, bacon and peas! And, everything's ready in less than 30 minutes!

This was not the dinner I intended... but MAN am I glad it evolved! Yesterday, I prepped dinner in advance - Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken, and steamed veggies. My son Kyle then asked if he could go out to dinner with his friends. That left Luke, and WAY too much food for just the two of us. So, I popped everything in the fridge and starting thinking about something I could create for Luke; something he would truly love. I grabbed his favorite foods - bowtie pasta, bacon, cheese (mozzarella and parmesan), green peas, tomato sauce, and a few herbs and I was off to the stove! If I can pull this together at the last minute, I know you can too.

Want to change the pasta shape? No problem, any pasta shape works!

How to cook the bacon? I prefer roasting bacon: Arrange the slices on a parchment-lined lined baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, until chewy-crisp.

Cheesy Bowtie Pasta with Peas and Bacon

Cooking spray
12 ounces bowtie pasta or pasta of choice
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon oregano
2 cups tomato sauce (or 15-ounce can)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
6-8 slices bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled
1/2 cup frozen green peas, keep frozen until ready to use
3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese, divided

Preheat the the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a shallow baking dish with cooking spray.
Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking liquid and return the pasta to the pot. Set aside.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 3 minutes, until soft. Add the oregano and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the tomato sauce and reserved 1/2 cup water and and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta and mix well. Fold in all of the mozzarella cheese, bacon, peas, and 2 tablespoons of the parmesan cheese. Mix well.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and top with the remaining parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 10 minutes. Uncover and bake for 5 more minutes.
Serves 4