The flavors in this 6 ingredient Pancetta, Pea & Mint Pasta work in perfect harmony. This creamy and comforting dish is ready in under 20 minutes and will have the whole family convinced that you're the real Jamie Oliver!
Why You Should Make Pancetta, Pea & Mint Pasta:
- Any meal that is prepared, cooked and on the table in under 30 minutes is a real winner, particularly for those busy week night dinners.
- When it comes to flavor pairings, the simple combination of bacon with sweet garden peas and mint is unbeatable.
- Creamy pasta dishes always prove popular with children. For another great tasting pasta recipe try my Smoked Salmon Pasta Creme Fraiche Pasta.
How to Make Pancetta Pea & Mint Pasta?
Find a full printable recipe with measurements below.
Cook the pasta in boiling salted water as per the packet instructions.
Fry the pancetta - cook until the fat renders and the bacon browns.
Add the peas, cream and Parmesan and stir until the peas are hot and the cheese melts.
Drain the cooked pasta, add to the sauce and mix to combine. Stir in the mint and season to taste.
Serve with freshly ground black pepper and extra grated Parmesan.
What is Pancetta?
Pancetta is pork belly that has been cured in salt and dried. You can buy it in thick and thin slices or it often comes ready cubed.
Italian cooking often uses pancetta like a seasoning to flavor soups, stews and pasta sauces.
To find the best stuff head to your local Italian deli. Otherwise you should be able to pick it up ready cubed in the fridge section of your favorite store.
Can I use regular bacon instead of Pancetta?
Of course! Even Gordon Ramsay uses smoked bacon as a substitute for pancetta.
Make sure to use the streaky kind with lots of fat content rather than Canadian or British style bacon. Simply cut into squares and cook until the fat renders and the bacon crisps.
If you don't eat pork, a smoked turkey bacon will work too.
What Pasta is Best to Use?
I have used penne pasta in this recipe purely because it's what I happened to have in my pantry. However, you could also use fusilli, farfalle or tagliatelle. Pappardelle is a real favorite - it's width is great for mopping up a creamy pasta sauce.
How much pasta should I plan on per person?
A helpful rule of thumb is to allow 2oz or around 50 grams of dry pasta per person. This makes around 1 cup of cooked pasta per person.
Variations of Pancetta, Pea & Mint Pasta:
- Use any shape of pasta that your family enjoy eating (or whatever you happen to have in your kitchen).
- To make this dish gluten free, simply subsitute with your favourite gluten free pasta.
- Pancetta can be substituted with regular bacon cut into cubes.
- Heavy cream (double cream) adds a velvety texture to the pasta sauce but you can substitute with light cream or low fat creme fraiche.
- Frozen peas are great to have in the freezer for last minute cooking. You can also use fresh peas or even another frozen vegetables, like spinach or green beans.
- Chopped mint leaves add a burst of fresh flavor to the pasta sauce. You could also add thyme, parsley or basil if you prefer.
- Grated Parmesan adds a salty, savory element. A good substitute would be with Pecorino or Grana Padano, which are both great tasting Italian cheeses.
Tips For Making the best Creamy Pasta
This is not a great make ahead dish as the pasta can overcook when being reheated.
Take care when seasoning the pasta sauce as the pancetta will be a little salty. I always taste as I go along, that way I avoid oversalting.
When cooking pasta, always hold back a cup of the cooking water. This is ideal to add in slow increments to the finished sauce if it's looking a little thick.
How To Serve Pancetta & Pea Pasta?
This pasta dish is a meal on its own, rich and filling with veggies already in the mix. If you want to add a side I would keep it simple - a dressed green salad would be ideal.
If you like this recipe why not try my Creamy Mushroom Pasta, a simple and delicious vegetarian pasta option.
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What Do You Think?!
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More Under 30 Minute Recipe Ideas
Easy Creamy Pancetta, Pea & Mint Pasta
- 8 oz Pasta
- 4 oz Pancetta
- 1 cup Heavy Cream (Double Cream)
- 1 cup Frozen Peas
- 1 tbsp Fresh Mint Leaves - chopped
- 1 cup Grated Parmesan - plus extra for serving
- Sea Salt and Black Pepper
- Bring a large pan of salted boiling water to the boil then add the pasta and cook according to packet instructions.
- Meanwhile fry the pancetta in a large skillet on a medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cook until the fat renders and the bacon is browned.
- Add the frozen peas, heavy cream and grated Parmesan to the bacon. Stir until the peas are hot and the cheese is melted - around 1 to 2 minutes.
- Drain the cooked pasta and add to the sauce. Stir until thoroughly mixed.
- Stir in the chopped mint and season with sea salt if needed.
- Serve with freshly ground black pepper and extra grated Parmesan.
This recipe has been shared with the #cookblogshare community, kindly hosted this week by Melissa Straub