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Cod Pasta with Pesto, Peas and Bacon

Cod pasta with pesto, peas and crispy bacon, a quick and quite easy recipe that tastes like you spent far longer making dinner than you did!

When I say quick, this recipe is done and dusted in the amount of time it takes to boil some pasta making it a perfect midweek meal.

Cod pasta with pesto, peas and bacon.

Fish Pasta with Pesto

When it comes to quick dinner recipes pasta often, and quite rightly, rules the roost!

Fish or seafood and pasta cook equally quickly and I combine the two a lot.

I have everything from prawn and squid ink pasta and canned salmon pasta with creme fraiche to smoked mackerel pasta and classic spaghetti alle vongole.

This delicious and stupidly simple cod pasta recipe joins those recipes.

It adds pasta’s best buddy, basil pesto into the mix as well as some sweet garden peas.

Finally, some crispy salty bacon takes the dish up another level!

Cooking this is really easy, whilst the pasta water is coming to a boil and the pasta is cooking, you have plenty of time to cook the bacon and the fish.

Then it is a case of chucking it all together and you are done.

You can even make a fresh pesto and have this dinner on your table in under 30 minutes! I have a video for making pesto in my tuna pesto pasta and prawn pesto pasta recipes.

Close up cod pasta with pesto, peas and bacon.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use skinless cod?

Yes, I do not serve the cod skin in this recipe. I use skinless cod because it protects the cod when pan frying and also helps it hold together a bit better.

What pasta should I use?

This recipe is best made with broad long pasta.

I use fresine, but anything from tagliatelle, pappardelle or fettuccini would all work equally well.

Can I use fresh pasta?

Yes, but the timings for this recipe are for dried pasta! If you are using fresh pasta cook the bacon and fish first, and only begin to cook the pasta once you have flipped the fish.

Is fresh pesto better?

It really does depend on your definition of better!

I usually make fresh pesto, but I love being in the kitchen and have no problem with going the extra mile, if you want convenience use store-bought.

What is streaky bacon?

A question often asked by my US-based readers. Streaky bacon is what you guys know as bacon, here in the UK the name bacon tends to refer to back bacon or Canadian bacon as you guys know it.

Overhead cod pasta with pesto, peas and bacon served on a white plate.

Serving Suggestions

This wonderful cod pasta with pasta is the perfect one-bowl dinner, and I rarely serve it with anything other than a hunk of bread.

My wife usually insists on some garlic bread, to be fair… I’ve seen her order that in place of a dessert at a restaurant!

I’d be much more likely to opt for a hunk of ciabatta or focaccia that I have heated in the oven.

Cod pasta with pesto, peas and bacon served on a white plate.

Equipment Used

I only recommend specific brands of equipment if I think that it makes a material difference to a recipe. If you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Stovetop.
  • 28cm or 11″ nonstick frying pan.
  • Saucepan for boiling pasta, I usually use a 24cm or 10″ saucepan/
  • Weighing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
  • Colander or sieve.
  • Mini blender or mortar and pestle if you are making fresh pesto.
  • Kitchen paper.
Cod fish pasta with pesto, peas and bacon served on a white plate.
Yield: 2 Servings

Cod Pasta with Pesto Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

This delicious and filling cod pasta features a wonderful pesto sauce, sweet peas and crispy bacon and it is every bit as special as it sounds!


  • 175g (6oz) Pasta
  • Salt for Boiling Pasta
  • 6 Rashers of Smoked Streaky Bacon
  • 250g (9oz) Cod Fillets or Loin
  • 75g (½ Cup) Peas
  • 125g Pesto (½ Cup)

Fresh Basil Pesto Ingredients:

  • 15g (2 Tbsp) Pine Nuts
  • 25g (1 Cup) Basil Leaves
  • 15g (3 Tbsp) Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 50ml (3 Tbsp + 1 Tsp) Olive Oil


  1. Bring a pan of generously salted water to the boil, use 1 tablespoon of water for every 4 litres of water. Then cook the pasta as per the cooking instructions, less 30 seconds or so.
  2. If you are using frozen peas defrost them by running them under cold water for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Whilst the pasta water comes to a boil, heat a 28cm or 11" non-stick skillet or frying pan over a medium-high heat and when it is hot cook the bacon until crispy. This will take 2-3 minutes on each side. When the bacon is cooked transfer to some kitchen paper to absorb excess fat.
  4. Fry the cod in the bacon fat, cook skin side down for 3 minutes and then for 1-2 minutes on the flesh side, then remove from the pan.
  5. The pasta should now be very close to cooked when you think it is ready throw the peas in for 30 seconds. Then scoop out 75-100ml (⅓ Cup) of the cooking water and set it aside before draining the pasta.
  6. Tip the drained pasta into the pan that you cooked the bacon and fish in then, toss to coat in the cooking oils.
  7. Remove the pan from the heat and stir through the pesto adding just enough of the cooking water to create a creamy coating.
  8. Remove the skin from the fish then flake it into the pasta.
  9. Crumble the bacon and add it to the pasta setting a little aside to sprinkle over at the end.
  10. Carefully stir to combine taking care not to break up the fish too much.
  11. Serve sprinkled with the remaining bacon.

How to make Homemade Basil Pesto:

  1. If you are making your own pesto, toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan before cooking the bacon.
  2. Transfer to a mini blender or pestle and mortar and add the remaining ingredients and blitz until an appropriate texture is achieved.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 892Total Fat: 54gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 37gCholesterol: 136mgSodium: 1311mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 4gSugar: 3gProtein: 61g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!


Sunday 29th of October 2023

What to use instead of bacon?

Brian Jones

Monday 30th of October 2023

Hi, it depends on why you want to omit the bacon, if it is a "pork" thing then you cold get away with using lamb, beef or even turkey bacon... if it is a meat thing then you could use a vegan bacon substitute. However I would personally omit the bacon and rebalance the seasoning with some extra salt in the dish.

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