Pasta with Pancetta and Peas

Ever looking for a pasta dish without a heavy sauce?  Sometimes I want the heartiness of pasta but I am not in the mood for a red or cream sauce.  This recipe fits the bill.  Smoky pancetta or bacon combines with peas and lemon in a barely broth sauce for a light yet filling meal!  Better yet, it comes together quickly so it makes my 30 minute meal category and it is chock full of green veggies!


  • 4 thick slices pancetta or bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces
  •  2 TBS roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
  •  2 TBS roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  •  2 TBS roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups  sweet peas, frozen is fine
  • 2 cups of arugula or chopped winter kale
  •  Zest of a small lemon
  • 1/2 cup of chicken stock
  • Extra-virgin olive oil {never buy it in a glass jar}
  • Splash of white wine
  • 1 pound egg pappardelle pasta 
  • Grated Manchego cheese
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper


  1. Bring a big stock pot to boil with salt and oil for the pasta.
  2. Combine basil, parsley and mint in a mortar and pestle or mini food processor to create a paste with 1/4 cup oil. Set aside.
  3. Brown the pancetta or bacon in a large skillet.  Remove from pan. Reserve grease. Deglaze with a splash of white wine, scrapping up any browned bits.
  4. Reheat pan add garlic. Sweat until translucent. Use a touch of the reserved grease if needed.
  5. Add the stock and lemon zest to the pan.  Allow to simmer for 3 minutes.
  6. Drop your fresh pasta and cook for about 2 and a half  minutes. It needs to be al dente so that you can finish it in the sauce.
  7. Add peas and greens cook for 3 minutes {you want to keep them green}. Salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Drain your pasta.  Add it to the skillet with the herb paste and stir to combine.
  9. Add the crispy bacon or pancetta and serve with cheese.

This would be amazing with fresh peas and pea tendrils if you can find them!


Shop Michelle’s Favorites


Mortar & Pestle
I use this for dozens of things like making herb pastes, mashing garlic and mixing spices.  The food processor or blender can pulverize but it tastes better in a mortar & pestle!  Plus, you feel so fancy!  You can order this right off of amazon with free shipping!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s