This Spring Pasta with Peas & Pancetta is the ultimate spring dinner. Just look at the colors, aren’t the purdy? The dish just screams out “FRESH”. When I hear “Spring Pasta”, this Pasta with Peas is the sort of dish that comes up in my mind. As a child I never was a big fan of peas, I have to admit it. And even now, a side heap of peas still doesn’t do it for me. However, peas as an element to add texture, flavor and color to a dish by incorporating them in it, that is a different story.
This dish incorporates peas, sugar snap peas, mint to give the pasta flavor and freshness. The pancetta adds a bit of salt and just a little kick to it, perfectly complemented by the nuttiness of the Parmesan. The original recipe asked for 1 1/2 cups shelled edamame peas, but those I didn’t happen to have. Also, instead of fresh, it suggested frozen peas. I had fresh, so I used those instead. I mean, see for yourself, don’t they look amazing?
Spring Pasta with Peas & Pancetta
- 1 lb. wagon wheel-shaped pasta (rotelle)
- 1 tbsp. olive oil, plus 1/4 cup
- 8 oz. pancetta, finely diced
- 1 large or 2 small shallots, finely diced.
- 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups (5 oz.) sugar snap peas, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup (or a little more) fresh peas
- 1 cup finely grated Parmesan
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8-10 minutes.
- Drain and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.
- In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp. oil over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring frequently, until golden and crisp, 6-8 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the pancetta and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
- Add the shallots to the pan and cook until soft, 2-3 minutes.
- Add the broth and scrape up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
- Stir in the snap peas and simmer until tender, about 2 minutes.
- Add the pasta, cooked pancetta, peas, Parmesan, the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, and mint leaves.
- Toss until coated, adding the reserved pasta water, 1 tbsp. at a time, to loosen the sauce.
- Transfer to a large bowl and serve.
(Recipe by: Giada De Laurentiis, adapted by Marieke, aka HRH Mommy)