Pasta and Peas with Pancetta

March 6, 2011

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!!!

Karen @ Blazing Minds March 6, 2011 at 9:28 am

That does indeed look really tasty, looks easy to make as well, I may just have to give this a try for one of next weeks meals ;)

Michelle @ Italian Mama Chef March 6, 2011 at 10:50 am

I’m glad so many are finding this a good idea. I wanted to note on the recipe that the pancetta could be left out if someone wants this to be vegetarian. It’s just so good either way.

Russell Davison March 6, 2011 at 4:34 am

I only take 30 minutes for my lunch break and I often eat something similar to your pasta and peas with pancetta. For some time I’ve felt that there was something missing, compared to similar dishes I’ve had around Lugano, Liverno and Massa. I read through your ingredients and, oplà … I found the missing item in your list of ingredients. I always forget the finely sliced shallots. Thanks.

Michelle @ Italian Mama Chef March 6, 2011 at 10:51 am

I used whatever onion I have on hand. Once I used green onions and while good, it missed the zing. Red were ok and gave color but the best is when I used shallots.

redkathy March 6, 2011 at 12:26 am

Hey Michelle, Interesting recipe. It’s a bit different than the pasta and peas I’m accustomed to. That is served in a cream sauce. Bet the pancetta adds a new dimension to the dish! I’ll be trying this one out soon.

Exciting foodie fundraiser event. Can’t wait to see your posts!

Btw, I made a variation of your chicken involtini the other day, it was fabulous. Took a few quick photos…. hope they will be blog worthy I soooo want to post it.

Michelle @ Italian Mama Chef March 6, 2011 at 10:53 am

I saw your pictures, they were nice. I am not a photographer but I know any picture must be better than none. I really don’t like finding a new recipe without a picture, I need to at least have an idea of what it should look like.

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