Pasta and Peas with Pancetta

in Food

I’m revisiting my recipe I had already posted here on my blog for pasta and peas for two reasons.

First it’s a really simple and easy to make dish but I wanted to zing it up with a bit of flavor from pancetta (pronounced pan-chet-ta).

The second reason to spice up this dish was I was asked for a recipe to be included in the program for a  food show fundraiser where I will be volunteering my cooking skills.

This is a great opportunity for me and I hope to meet all kinds of people in the food business as well as Aarti Sequeira from the Food Network. She is making a guest appearance at Our Valley Cooks along with local chefs and many product exhibitors. I’m very excited for this. I just can hardly bear to wait until March 19th! I actually made an appointment for a special manicure the day before. And I am so not into my nails!!!  Okay, on to the recipe and a few pictures.

Pasta with Peas and Pancetta

1 lb. Farfalle or Med. Shells

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

5 ounces frozen peas

½ cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese

6 ounces diced pancetta

3 shallots, sliced fine

2 cloves garlic, sliced fine

salt and pepper

  • Bring 4-6 quarts of water to a boil.
  • Begin cooking the pancetta in skillet, cooking only until the fat is rendered, or becomes clear. Set aside.
  • After adding the pasta to the water, heat ¼ cup olive oil on medium heat in a large skillet (large enough to hold the cooked pasta) until it shimmers. Add shallots and soften. Add garlic and only cook 2 minutes, do not brown the garlic as it becomes bitter.
  • Add peas in the last 5 minutes of cooking the pasta, you can remove the pan from the heat if the shallots and garlic are done before this time.
  • Add in about 1/2-3/4 cup of the pasta water when you add the peas. Season with a few pinches of fine kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Cook the peas until they are just soft, not mushy. Add in cooked pancetta and heat through.
  • Drain pasta and add to the pan with peas, shallots and garlic. Add remaining oil and stir in ¾ cup of the cheese. Add more pasta water if it seems too dry.
  • When serving, drizzle a little olive oil on each serving, pass remaining cheese at the table

I am also sending the link to this dish to Ruth at Presto Pasta Nights who is celebrating 4 years of hosting this online food party focusing on pasta! Whoohoo, happy birthday PPN!!!