Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Orecchiette Pasta with Peas, Pancetta, and Cream

Orecchiette Pasta with Peas, Pancetta, and Cream
Pasta is one of my standard go to dinners.  The other day I was at Trader Joe's and I picked up a bag of Orecchiette Pasta and Pancetta.  Instead of using the typical marina sauce I make for pasta, I thought a cream sauce would go better with this pasta.    In the past, I have made a version of this recipe using fettuccine and the cream sauce was made a little differently.

The pancetta added a wonderful flavor to the cheese sauce.  After all, it is Italian bacon so it had to be good.    I have read  that you do not need to cook pancetta. However,   I cooked mine in this recipe until it was a nice golden brown.  It takes about 5-7 minutes to cook.  The addition of the peas was perfect for this sauce.  If your cheese sauce is a little thin for your liking, add more cheese.

This dinner made up quickly and was a nice hearty meal. The sauce coated the pasta nicely and the pancetta and peas added great flavor and color.

Orecchiette Pasta with Peas, Pancetta, and Cream

 Modified Epicurious | 2002
1 pound orecchiette pasta
3 tablespoons butter
1 small white onion, diced, (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup frozen or shelled fresh peas
2 tablespoon water
4 ounces  pancetta cut in small cubes
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
2.  Cook pancetta until golden brown.  Set aside.  
3. Meanwhile, warm 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. When the butter starts to bubble, add onion and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until translucent, stirring often.
4. Add the peas and water to the pan and cook 3 minutes, stirring. Stir in the pancetta and the cream; bring to a low simmer and cook 5 minutes.

Delicious Cream Sauce

5. Drain pasta; place in large serving bowl. Stir remaining 2 tablespoons butter into the cream mixture over low heat until melted. Stir in the cheese. Pour sauce over pasta and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 4 to 6 servings


  1. I remember eating a dish like that in Rome many years ago. So simple and good!

  2. Simple and delicious...this is my kind of ideal dinner too.

  3. I really need to get my butt to Trader Joe's! I've been "craving" Pancetta and what better way to enjoy every mouthful than with some "little ears" and peas! Thanks for sharing, Geraldine...