Monday, March 19, 2012
Pancetta, Peas, Orecchiette Pasta and Cream Sauce! Perfect For A Busy Monday
Since it was so warm today, I didn't want anything heavy for dinner. I wanted something light and refreshing and summer like. There is a Jamie Oliver recipe I have been wanting to try that I had pinned on Pinterest. There is another very similar one from Huffington post that I had also pinned. So, I kind of combined the two and let me tell you, it is so delicious. We will definitely be having this again and again. And, the most important point thing, it is really quick and easy to put together which makes it a natural for Monday (or any day really).
The Jamie Oliver recipe uses mini shell pasta and bacon and the Huffington post recipe used orecchiette pasta which is kind of cup or bell shaped. When I was at Trader Joe's today, they had orecchiette so I went with it and I am so glad I did. It is a really nice chewy pasta that held the sauce beautifully.
Trader Joe's also had cubed pancetta in 4 ounce packages which was just perfect for this recipe. Otherwise, you have to cut bacon into lardons for the Jamie Oliver recipe and the pancetta had just the right flavor for this creamy sauce, not too smoky like bacon can be. It's just a matter of which you have on hand. And, it has green peas which is one of our favorite veggies. Yum. So, you have pasta, pancetta, green peas and one of the tastiest cream sauces I have ever eaten.
This recipe only took about 20 minutes to put together which makes it a fantastic Monday recipe. It also makes a large pan full and that means leftovers for lunches or another dinner for us. Yay! It says it serves 4, but those would be huge servings. You may not have as much left as we had. We enjoyed the pasta with a simple green salad and crusty bread and it was just right as Goldilocks would say. Here is what you need to make this recipe:
1 pound shaped pasta - mini shells or orecchiette
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Butter
1 4 ounce package cubed pancetta or 10 slices bacon cut into lardons
2 cups frozen green peas
2 heaping TBSP sour cream
1 small bunch fresh mint, stems removed and minced (I don't care for mint, so I used fresh thyme)
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
fresh cracked black pepper
Cook the pasta according to directions. I made the sauce while the pasta cooked. This is how you make it.
Heat the olive oil and butter in a large saute pan. Add the pancetta (or bacon) and cook until crispy and brown, about 5 minutes. I added a lot of fresh cracked black pepper while the pancetta cooked. Add the frozen peas to the pan and cook just a bit until they start to thaw, then add the sour cream and herbs. Stir until everything is coated. (I added 2 ladles of starchy pasta water to the sauce before I drained the pasta). Drain the pasta and return it to the pan. Add the sauce to the pasta, squeeze the lemon juice over the pasta and stir to coat all the pasta. Add the parmesan cheese and stir again to coat all the pasta, stirring until all the cheese is melted and creamy. That's it - done! Ready to serve. Look at how this fabulous creamy sauce coats the pasta. Yummm.
Things to remember:
A bee is never as busy as it seems; it's just that it can't buzz any slower.