Asparagus, Pancetta and Pea Pasta

This is a fresh spring pasta that can easily be made vegetarian by leaving out the pancetta. It comes from Bon Appetit magazine.

12 oz. fettuccine
4 oz. pancetta, chopped
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1″ pieces
2 cups green peas (I used frozen and let them thaw)
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup grated parmesan plus more for serving
1/3 cup heavy cream
3 T lemon juice
1 T grated lemon zest
chopped parsley
crushed red pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions, saving 1/2 cup pasta water. While the pasta is cooking, cook pancetta in a large skillet until crisp. Remove with slotted spoon onto a paper-towel lined bowl to drain. Add the olive oil, garlic and a pinch of crushed red pepper to the skillet and saute the asparagus in that mixture for about 5 minutes; add about 1/4 cup water to the pan over high heat and cover to allow the asparagus to steam for a couple of minutes. Add the peas and green onions when the water has evaporated and stir for about a minute. Add the lemon juice, zest, parsley, cream and pancetta to the skillet. Add the drained pasta, the cooking liquid and the parmesan and toss. Season with salt and pepper.

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