As regular readers will know, I’m not really a natural in the kitchen. ‘Fridge pasta’ is one of my specialities, which consists of pasta, with whatever I can find in the fridge. Sometimes the pasta doesn’t match either, as it’s the dregs of three or four different packets.
This pancetta and pea pasta recipe is a variation on my famous fridge pasta, but created by chef Gennaro Contaldo, and with better instructions than just ‘ergh, let’s see what we have in the fridge – half a cucumber and some dry cheese? That’ll do.’
The full recipe for pasta with pancetta and peas is here, and I’ve recreated my version in this post. You might like to have a look at the other pasta recipes on the Bertolli site though, as they really are dead easy, and tasty too.
So, first up, ingredients. This is what you need to make your very own pancetta and pea pasta. It will serve about four, and only takes 20 minutes from start to finish:
- 350 g pasta – the Gennaro Contaldo recipe says farfalle, but I used a wholewheat fusilli as there wasn’t a wholewheat farfalle and I’d just had a meeting with some nutritionists and was feeling bad about my diet. You can basically use any sort of pasta you like.
- 50 g Bertolli with Butter + extra knob – we used Bertolli original, as our local supermarket didn’t stock the ‘with butter’ version, but again, I think you’re fine to use your initiative here.
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 40 g pancetta, finely chopped. You could also use regular bacon, or bacons lardons are good value for dishes like this.
- 250 g frozen peas.
- several mint leaves. (Basically adding summer to your dinner.)
- salt & pepper to taste
The photographing of your ingredients is optional.
Next up, the cooking.
Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, add some salt and your pasta. This will need to cook for about ten minutes, and while it does, you get on with the next bit.
Heat the Bertolli in a large frying pan. I have to say that I have never really thought to fry with a spread before. I’m not sure why, I would just automatically reach for the oil I guess. I was really impressed though with how well the spread worked. I guess because it’s basically made of oil. Dur.
Add the pancetta and onions and fry on a medium heat until the onion has softened. Stir in the peas, mint and some salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and cook on a gentle heat for a few minutes. I actually used fresh peas, so I added a splash of water too. I’m not sure why. Call it instinct.
Drain your pasta, then add it to the sauce, along with a splash of the pasta water and another knob of Bertolli. Mix well and serve with a sprinkling of parmesan if you fancy it, or a large glass of Italian wine if all of that cooking has taken it out of you.
And tada! There you have it, Gennaro Contaldo’s pasta with pancetta and peas.
Do you think you could have a go at this? What’s your go-to family dinner?
Sponsored by Bertolli – all opinions are my own.