Pasta with Peas & Pancetta
We first tried this recipe for Pasta with Peas & Pancetta at our neighbor’s house for dinner one night, and after that, we never stopped making it at home. Our neighbors are from Rome, Italy, so we get spoiled sometimes with a Parmesan cheese from Italy and other imported ingredients that we love to indulge. Don’t worry too much about the kind of pasta you use for this dish. We used orecchiette, because that’s what was in the pantry, but any other shape along the lines of penne, farfalle, or fusilli will go well here. This is what we call Quarantine Cooking Club! You can watch a video of me cooking this recipe with my kids, Thomas and Bianca on You Tube
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 ounces pancetta, diced
½ onion, minced
One 10-ounce package (about 2 cups) frozen peas, thawed
1-pound orecchiette (or other pasta shape mentioned above)
¼ cup fresh chopped parsley
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Coarsely ground pepper
Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a large pasta pot. Season with salt. Add pasta and cook stirring occasionally, until just al dente (take one minute off from package instructions). Drain and reserve about 2 cups of the cooking water.
Meanwhile, combine 2 tablespoons of the oil and the pancetta in a large skillet and cook over medium high heat stirring occasionally, until the pancetta has rendered some of its fats and it’s crispy, golden brown, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a plate.
Using the fat that’s in the pot, add the onion and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the peas, the pasta, the pancetta and a couple of tablespoons by eye to the pan, mixing everything together and making sure every ingredient is enrobed by the natural juices in the pan. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Finish with Parmesan cheese and serve in individual bowls.
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