This Crispy Pancetta and Sweet Pea Ziti is a simple and light pasta recipe that’ll please the whole family, and it is ready in less than 20 minutes.
Pasta is my family’s love language. If I put down a big bowl of pasta with sweet peas, crispy pancetta served with a side salad and garlic bread, I won’t hear a peep for the entire meal.
There’s something about the combo that’s sweet, salty and just the right amount of sauce to allow the real star of the recipe to shine; the pasta.
The pasta I use for this dish is Garofalo® No. 70 Penne Ziti Rigate.
Garofalo was established in 1789 in Gragnano, the homeland of pasta. It holds the longest history in pasta and is more than 200 years old!
It’s superior quality, made in Italy, and uses 100% Highest-Quality Durum Wheat Semolina.
INGREDIENTS: What you need
- 1 lb Garofalo® No. 70 Penne Ziti Rigate
- Sweet Peas
- Parmesan and Asiago cheese
- olive oil
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS
- Into a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add in a pinch of salt and pasta and cook for 11 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the salty pasta water.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, over medium heat, cook pancetta until brown and crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove pancetta to a paper towel-lined plate.
- Add butter to pancetta drippings and melt. Stir in garlic and shallot and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add in peas, cheese, 1/2 cup pasta water, olive oil and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Serve with lemon wedges, if desired for a punch of citrus flavors that pairs nicely with the sweet peas and salty pancetta.
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS DISH
Crispy Pancetta and Sweet Pea Ziti is very lightly “sauced.” It’s not heavily covered in tomatoes or extra liquid, leaving the pasta to really shine through and have a toothsome bite. Less is more here which is simple and perfect.
Pasta in Italy is traditional and it’s great to bring those traditions to your family dinner table. Food brings people together.
In Italy, pancetta is added to a dish, or soup, to add another depth of flavor. The flavor it brings to this pasta recipe is salty, crispy and the perfect balance with the sweet peas.
- You can’t ever go wrong with ciabatta. When your pasta is finished, use ciabatta bread to soak up all the remaining saucy goodness.
- Serve a simple salad dressed with olive oil, vinegar, salt and parmesan.
- If serving wine, go with something light such as pinot grigio.
COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT CRISPY PANCETTA AND SWEET PEA ZITI
- What if I only have canned peas?
- I used frozen peas in this recipe but feel free to use canned peas if that’s what you have on hand.
- I can’t find pancetta, can I use bacon?
- Yes, you can sub bacon for the pancetta. Bacon is a smoked meat, so you will have a smokier flavor to your finished dish.
- If you’d like a little bit of heat, add some red pepper flakes after you add the butter.
- Use a different type of pasta. Garofalo sells spaghetti, fettuccine, orecchiette and many more that could easily sub in for the ziti.
- Change up the cheeses. Go with a fontina cheese or pecorino romano.
What are some of your family’s favorite pasta traditions?
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