Pasta, Pancetta, And Peas is a quick easy weeknight meal and a great dish you can serve up to guests. Let me show you how fast this dish comes together. I’m using a Fusilli pasta for this dish.
Heading over to my Hanging Herb Garden for fresh basil and mint for my dish.
This is what pancetta (Italian bacon) looks like. It’s similar to American bacon in that it’s cured, it is just not smoked. You can get this at the deli counter in your local grocery store. For this dish, you do not want to get it sliced, you’re going to want one thick slice about 1/2 inch thick. The deli employees will just adjust the blade on the slicer to the thickness you’re requesting. You may even be able to find pancetta already diced and packaged.
Prep Time: 3 to 5 minutes
Total Cook Time: 30 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 1 (10-inch) sauté pan, 1 (6-quart) saucepot, 1 mini food processor, chef’s knife, mesh strainer
1 pound of fusilli
2 1/2 ounces of pancetta, 1/4-inch dice
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 cup of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, reserve 1/4 cup for serving
1 good size shallot, halved, and very thinly sliced
1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas, thawed
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 cup pasta cooking liquid
1 tablespoon of finely julienned fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh mint leaves
Note: You’ll notice I’m not using any salt for this dish (except for seasoning the pasta water). The pancetta and freshly grated Parmesan cheese both together add enough saltly flavor to the dish.
Cook pasta in a pot of boiling salted water until al dente, still firm to the bite. Drain well, reserving 1 cup of pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot.
In a cold sauté pan over medium heat add the pancetta and cook for 7 minutes. Stirring occasionally, until the pancetta is browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the crispy pancetta over to a plate, lined with a paper towel. Pour off all but 1 teaspoon of the drippings from the sauté pan.
To the same pan, add the sliced shallots and fresh ground black pepper to the pan, cook for about 3 minutes until shallots soften. Add the minced garlic, frequently stirring, cook for 1 minute more. Add the thawed frozen peas, to warm through, stirring everything together. Remove from heat. Add the crispy pancetta back in, mix to combine.
Add the pancetta, shallots, minced garlic mixture, 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid, 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, half the mint, and half the basil to the cooked pasta. Toss, adding more cooking liquid, by the tablespoon, if needed.
Transfer to a large serving bowl. Sprinkle remaining basil and mint on top. Serve, passing additional grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. In 30 minutes you can enjoy Pasta, Pancetta, And Peas.