Pasta piselli e pancetta (pasta with peas and pancetta) is a very easy and delicious classic Italian dish that is great to eat in Spring when peas are fresh and in season but also anytime of year since frozen peas work so well in this recipe.
About this peas and pancetta pasta:
Pasta piselli e pancetta is a simple classic dish of Italy that consists of only a few ingredients: pasta, pancetta, peas and a topping of freshly grated Parmesan. It is believed to have originated in the Naples area as just a simple pasta and peas dish but over time it evolved to have pancetta. It is simple and delicious!
This pancetta and peas pasta makes a great quick meal to always have on hand because it works well with frozen cubed pancetta and frozen peas. When we make this pasta (and we make it often!), we grab the pancetta and peas straight from the freezer and add it to a sauté pan with olive oil and dinner is ready in no time.
Ingredients you will need
- Pasta: I prefer a rigatoni or ziti for this recipe but use what pasta you have on hand.
- Peas (fresh or frozen): I always have frozen peas so I can make this dish anytime.
- Pancetta (cubed): You can buy pancetta already diced at the grocery store to save time. This is the star ingredient in my farro minestrone too.
- Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil is best for this recipe.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic here.
- Freshly grated Parmesan
- Kosher salt
How to make pancetta and peas pasta
This pasta with peas and pancetta is very easy and only requires you to sauté the pancetta then add the peas and garlic into the mix to gently cook.
Here is what that looks like below.
- Sauté pancetta: You want to cook that pancetta until crispy.
- Add peas and garlic: Gently cook the peas in the pancetta fat.
- Cook pasta: Cook until al dente and follow the manufacturer's instructions for this.
- Assemble: After the pancetta and peas are cooked you just need to add the cooked pasta and a little reserved pasta water. This reserved pasta water helps make a light sauce for the pasta.
Tips for making this recipe
- Make sure to grab a good ladle full of pasta water right before you drain the pasta. This salty, starchy water will help make a sauce when it is mixed with the peas and pancetta. This is a classic way to make a sauce with Italian dishes which you may have seen us do with our angel hair with tomatoes. Do not skip this step!
- Make sure to properly salt your pasta water. We like adding a good handful of kosher salt.
- If you can, try to find good quality Parmigiano Reggiano. This makes the most delicious topping for this pasta.
More Pasta Recipes You May Like
- Creamy Kale Pasta
- Angel Hair Pasta with Tomatoes and Herbs
- Easy Penne alla Vodka
- Lasagna al Forno
- Rigatoni Amatriciana
- Pasta con Salsiccia
Pasta Piselli e Pancetta (Pasta With Pancetta and Peas)
- 1 lb Pasta Bowtie or penne work best
- 4 ounces pancetta diced
- 2 cups peas fresh or frozen
- 3 cloves of garlic diced
- 2 tablespoon Olive oil any kind will do
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for the pasta water
- ½ cup Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- reserved pasta water
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- While you are waiting for the water to boil, pre-heat a large sauté pan over medium heat.
- Add the olive oil.2 tablespoon Olive oil
- Now add the pancetta and cook until crispy.4 ounces pancetta
- Reduce heat to medium low and add the peas and garlic.2 cups peas, 3 cloves of garlic
- Add kosher salt and cook the peas with the pancetta for a few minutes then reduce heat to low.1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Once the pasta water is boiling, add a good handful of kosher salt to the water then add your pasta.1 lb Pasta
- Cook according to the manufacturers instructions for al dente.
- Once pasta is al dente, scoop a mug full of pasta water and set aside then drain the pasta.
- Add half of the pasta water to the peas and pancetta then add the cooked pasta.reserved pasta water
- Mix around for 1-2 minutes letting the pasta drink up the flavors from the peas and pancetta.
- Check if the pasta looks dry at this point. If it does, add a little more of the reserved pasta water.
- Plate into individual bowls and top with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano½ cup Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano