Pasta with Pancetta and Peas : An Easy and Unforgettable Weeknight Dinner

My Pasta with Pancetta and Peas recipe is a quick dish perfect for busy weeknights. This family-friendly pasta meal includes a few simple ingredients but still packs a punch.

Zoomed in picture of brown bowl with orecchiette - peas pancetta pasta with gold fork.

What I love most about this dish is that it comes together in under 30 minutes! Pasta with pancetta and peas has a little bit of everything. This dish has salty pancetta, plump, bursting peas, cheese, basil, and a touch of lemon. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and you have a winning weeknight meal that anyone will enjoy. Plus, this dish is great as leftovers!

The best part? It’s not a high-maintenance recipe. Just top it off with a sprinkle of Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil, and boom – you’ve got a pasta dish that’s as down-to-earth as it is delicious. If you’re looking for more delicious weeknight pastas, check out my Authentic Carbonara Recipe with No Cream or my Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta with Basil.

Zoomed in picture of brown bowl with orecchiette - peas pancetta pasta with gold fork on gray plate with green dutch oven in the background.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It’s delicious – You will love the pasta with pancetta and peas for its perfect fusion of rich, crispy pancetta and sweet peas. It’s a bright dish with a little bit of extra saltiness from the pancetta.
  • Quick and easy preparation -This recipe’s appeal lies in its quick cooking time, making it an ideal choice for busy families seeking a gourmet weeknight dinner that is both delicious and effortlessly prepared.
  • Versatility and customization – With the flexibility to experiment with pasta shapes, herbs, and additional ingredients, you can personalize this dish to suit your taste preferences.

Ingredients

Overhead shot of ingredients for peas pancetta pasta : frozen peas, diced pancetta, basil leaves, grated parmesan cheese, butter, pasta, diced shallot, lemon zest, lemon juice, and seasonings, all in individual bowls on a wooden cutting board on a marble countertop.
  • Orecchiette – Orecchiette, with its unique ear-shaped design, cradles the flavorful pancetta and peas, creating little pockets that capture the sauce’s richness. Its small size ensures each bite is a perfect blend of pasta, pancetta, and peas.
  • Pancetta – Pancetta takes center stage, infusing the dish with its savory, cured flavor. Rendered to a crispy perfection, it provides a smoky undertone that combines well with the pasta and peas, elevating the entire flavor profile.
  • Frozen peas – Frozen peas bring a burst of vibrant sweetness and a pop of color to the dish. Their convenience ensures a quick addition, maintaining their freshness and crisp texture, balancing out the richness of the pancetta and adding a delightful element to each forkful.
  • Shallot – Shallots, finely chopped and sautéed, add a subtle depth of flavor and sweetness to the dish. Their aromatic essence enhances the overall savory profile, creating a nice balance with the pancetta and peas.
  • Basil – Fresh basil leaves contribute a fragrant and herbaceous note, brightening up the dish with their lively scent.
  • Lemon juice and zest – Lemon juice and zest provide a zesty lift, cutting through the richness and adding a refreshing citrusy element. Their bright acidity enhances the overall balance of flavors, offering a contrast to the savory pancetta.
  • Grated Parmigiano Reggiano – Grated Parmigiano Reggiano adds a salty and nutty richness that ties the ingredients together. Its finely aged flavor elevates the dish, providing a luxurious finish that lingers on the palate.

Substitutions

  • No peas? No problem! – Fresh or frozen spinach adds a leafy green component and a mild earthy flavor. You could also add asparagus. Cut into bite-sized pieces, asparagus provides a crisp texture and a slightly sweet taste. Or, instead of peas in this pasta with pancetta and peas dish, chopped broccoli florets offer a hearty and nutritious substitute with a subtle sweetness.
  • No pancetta – Try bacon! A common substitute, bacon brings a similar smoky flavor to the dish. Or, use proscuitto! Thinly sliced prosciutto can be used for a more delicate and slightly saltier alternative.

Step by Step Instructions

Overhead shot of diced shallots in a gray nonstick pan on the stove.

Step 1: Start by boiling salted water for pasta. Meanwhile, crisp pancetta until golden, then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Retain pancetta oil in the pan and sauté shallot and garlic until fragrant.

Overhead shot of frozen peas in a gray pan on the stove.

Step 2: Add the frozen peas to the pan. Cook for about 3 minutes before heading to the next step.

Overhead shot of peas cooking in pan with wooden spoon in pan, hand over the pan holding a tin cup with salt and pepper about to pour.

Step 3: Add salt and pepper before stirring to combine.

Overhead shot of peas and basil in a pan on the stove with a wooden spoon.

Step 4: Then, add basil to the peas and mix.

Overhead shot of peas and basil in a gray pan on the stove with a hand over the pan pouring a metal cup of lemon zest into pan.

Step 5: Add the fresh lemon zest.

Overhead shot of peas and pancetta and lemon zest in a gray pan on the stove.

Step 6: Add the pancetta. Mix to combine and cook for about 5 minutes.

Overhead shot of pasta peas pancetta butter in green dutch oven on stove.

Step 7: Take the pan off the heat and add the cooked pasta, butter, and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Stir to combine until butter is melted and coats the pasta.

Zoomed in picture of peas pasta pancetta in brown ridged bowl with a gold fork on gray plate on marble background.

Step 8: Add some of the reserved pasta water if you need a little more liquid! Serve immediately.

Zoomed in picture of peas pasta pancetta in brown ridged bowl with a gold fork on gray plate on marble background.

Tips and Notes

  • Grab some paper towels – You must use a slotted spoon to remove the cooked pancetta from the pan and put into paper towels so that they don’t get soggy and stay nice and crisp!
  • Feel free to add more veg – You could easily add some more vegetables like asparagus to pump up this dish.

Zoomed in picture of peas pasta pancetta in brown ridged bowl.

Recipe FAQs

Short pasta shapes like penne, rigatoni, or orecchiette are great choices as they hold the sauce well. However, you can use your favorite pasta shape.

Add a splash of heavy cream or half-and-half to the sauce just before combining it with the pasta for a creamier texture.

Easily! Simply scale up the ingredients proportionally, and consider using a large, wide pan for even cooking.

Zoomed in picture of peas pasta pancetta in brown ridged bowl with a gold fork on gray plate.

Serving Suggestions

  • Wine pairing – A crisp and refreshing white wine like Pinot Grigio works well with pasta dishes. Its citrusy notes and acidity can cut through the richness of the pancetta, while the overall lightness won’t overpower the delicate sweetness of the peas. A unoaked or lightly oaked Chardonnay can also be a good match. Look for one with bright acidity and flavors of green apple or citrus, as it can provide a nice contrast to the richness of the pancetta.
  • Start with something fresh – Start your meal off with a delicious appetizer, like Pesto Bruschetta with Marinated Tomatoes.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

  • Storage – Allow the pasta dish to cool to room temperature before storing it. Place it in an airtight container to prevent it from drying out or absorbing odors from the fridge.
  • Reheating in the microwave: For a quick reheat, use a microwave-safe dish. Sprinkle a few drops of water on the pasta with pancetta and peas to add moisture and cover the dish with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap. Heat in short intervals, stirring in between, until the pasta reaches the desired temperature.
  • Reheating on the stovetop: For a more controlled reheating process, warm the peas pancetta pasta in a saucepan on the stovetop over medium heat. Add a bit of water or broth to the pan to prevent sticking, and stir frequently until it’s heated through.
  • Reheating in the oven: To reheat larger portions or if you want to maintain a crispy texture, use an oven. Preheat the oven to a low temperature (around 300°F or 150°C), cover the pasta with foil to prevent drying, and warm it for about 15-20 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Please leave a review below if you make this recipe! And, don’t forget to follow @seasonedandsalted on Instagram!

Zoomed in picture of peas pasta pancetta in brown ridged bowl with a gold fork and green dutch oven in background.

Pasta with Pancetta and Peas : An Easy and Unforgettable Weeknight Dinner

Allie Hagerty
Delight in this savory Pasta with Pancetta and Peas recipe – a quick, easy, and customizable dish that combines crispy pancetta with sweet peas for a satisfying meal.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 812 kcal

Equipment

  • heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven
  • pot
  • cutting board
  • measuring spoons
  • measuring cups
  • stainless steel spider
  • wooden spoon

Ingredients
  

  • 8 ounces pancetta
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 10 ounces frozen peas
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 leaves basil, chiffonade
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 16 ounces pasta I used orecchiette
  • 3 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions
 

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium heat. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.
  • While the pasta is cooking, crisp pancetta in a large saucepan (or dutch oven) over medium-high heat for approximately 6 minutes until it turns golden. Transfer it to a plate lined with paper towels. Don't remove the oil created by pancetta from the pan.
  • In the same pan, sauté onion and garlic until fragrant, about 3 minutes, before adding the peas. Next, add the basil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix to combine and cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Take the pan off the heat and add the cooked pasta, as well as the butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Stir to combine until butter is melted and coats the pasta. Add some of the reserved pasta water if you need a little more liquid! Serve immediately.

Notes

  • Grab some paper towels – You must use a slotted spoon to remove the cooked pancetta from the pan and put into paper towels so that they don’t get soggy and stay nice and crisp!
  • Feel free to add more veg – You could easily add some more vegetables like asparagus to pump up this dish.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25recipeCalories: 812kcalCarbohydrates: 100gProtein: 34gFat: 30gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 728mgPotassium: 618mgFiber: 8gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 783IUVitamin C: 32mgCalcium: 308mgIron: 3mg
Keyword date night, Italian, pancetta, Pasta, peas, Weeknight Dinner
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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