Spring is finally here! Although, I must admit that here in Cali the weather is fabulous most of the time. Nonetheless, it’s wonderful to feel a warm breeze on a bare skin and smell my blooming jasmine outside the bedroom window. My garden, on the other hand, requires some serious digging and weed pulling if I’m going to plant some veggies in a near future.
Today’s recipe is quick, easy yet delicious because that’s how I cook most days. It takes less than 30 minutes to have this dish ready and only 1 pot and 1 skillet are required.
Pancetta, or Italian bacon, is a staple in my fridge. It adds a lot of flavor to many pasta dishes. The difference between bacon and pancetta is that bacon is smoked after being cured and pancetta is not. Both are raw and should be cooked before eating. I prefer pancetta over bacon in my dishes since I find its flavor less overpowering. I never cook any vegetables with bacon because all I can taste is, well, bacon. So, no broccoli salad with bacon bits or roasted Brussels sprouts with it for me. If I want to taste some bacon I can just fry some, right? A lot of you are probably thinking “what’s wrong with her?”. I know, it’s pretty rare not to like bacon. I enjoy veggies too much and don’t like to mask their taste with something else.
To make my Farfalle with Peas and Pancetta start by bringing a large pot of water to boil so you can cook the pasta. In the meantime, cook pancetta in a bit of olive oil, then add a sliced garlic and pour some broth or white wine onto the skillet. Let it simmer for 4-5 minutes. When the pasta is almost done, I like to add frozen peas into the pot instead of frying them on a skillet. This way the color stays a bit more vibrant. If you are using fresh peas you might have to precook them separately since they cook a bit longer. Add them to the skillet with the cooked pasta. Stir really well, add generous serving of grated Parmesan cheese and pepper. Drizzle with some olive oil and mix in 2-3 handfuls of arugula. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley. Serve.
- 16 oz. farfalle or other kind of short pasta like campanelle
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 oz pancetta, finely diced
- 1-2 tablespoons garlic, sliced
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth or 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 cup peas, frozen or fresh
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2-3 handfuls of arugula
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
- Bring large pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta according to the instructions. Shortly before the pasta is done add the frozen peas to the pot. Cook 2-3 minutes.
- In the meantime, heat a large skillet up and add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add pancetta and cook 2-3 minutes stirring often. Add sliced garlic and cook 1 minute. Pour in 1/2 cup vegetable broth or 1/4 cup white wine and cook for about 5 minutes until about a half of the liquid evaporated.
- Drain the cooked pasta and peas but save about 1/2 cup of water. Add pasta to the skillet. Stir well and add the pasta water to make some sauce.
- Add the Parmesan cheese, arugula and chopped parsley. Stir well. Drizzle with olive oil and freshly ground pepper. Serve.