Recipe: Fettuccine with Pancetta and Peas (video)

Fettuccine (little pasta ribbons) with pancetta and peas is a quick and easy -- and super tasty -- pasta recipe that is great year 'round. Pancetta is cured pork belly and has a rich, smoky, salty flavor, similar to bacon. This dish is wonderful with frozen peas during the off season but, in late spring or early summer, be sure to use beautiful fresh-from-the-garden peas for peak flavor and bright, beautiful color. See the video below for a quick tutorial on what I'm calling Green Eggs and Ham!!

Pasta101 Cookbook photo this This recipe is featured in the cookbook: "Pasta 101 - 12 Easy Pasta Recipes You Can Make in Under 30 Minutes."    

Fettuccini with Pancetta and peas

photo credit: Kyle Strickland via photopin cc

Fettuccine with pancetta and peas is one of those wonderfully appealing "dinner in a bowl" recipes that I just love. Easy, simple, nutritious and delicious...and a snap to clean up!

A Peasant Dish Fit for Royalty!

Like many Italian dishes, this is a delightfully simple peasant dish that consists of an inexpensive cut of meat, fresh, seasonal ingredients and the right pasta noodle...garnished with a touch of grated cheese and fresh-cracked black pepper. A few simple ingredients that can be thrown together in under 30 minutes. The pancetta, a pork product that is similar to bacon, has a wonderful salty, chewy crispness that adds a layer of decadent richness that is perfectly accented by the bright, fresh peas and creamy pasta. The fresh pepper adds a nice bite and the tang of the citrus and fresh Parmesan cheese bring it all together.

Starchy Pasta Water - The Secret to Success

The secret to this dish, however, is the starchy pasta water. It blends the flavors, thickens the sauce and creates a wonderfully smooth, satiny finish to the dish. For a pasta dish that really sings, make sure you don't skip the pasta water trick! SEE ALSO: How to make fresh fettuccine with a machine (video) SEE ALSO: Online Cooking School (review & video) SEE ALSO: Culinary Tours (links) SEE ALSO: Recipe: Fettuccine Alfredo (video) SEE ALSO: Recipe: Fettuccine with Bolognese Sauce SEE ALSO: How to make Giada's fresh pasta dough (video)

Try it with Fresh pasta and spring peas for a true taste treat!

Try using fresh fettuccine and fresh spring peas with this recipe to really make it special. The texture of fresh pasta helps the sauce cling to each strand so every bite is a taste treat. Watch a fresh pasta video tutorial here on how to make the fettuccine with a food processor and pasta machine. No food processor or pasta machine? No problem, you can make the dough by hand and roll it out as shown in this series of fresh pasta by hand videos. Fresh peas in a box for linguini with pancetta and peas recipe  

Fettuccine with Pancetta and Peas

Rating: 41

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: Serves 4 for dinner, 6 for lunch, 8 as a starter

Fettuccine with Pancetta and Peas

Fettuccine with pancetta and peas is a bright, fresh savory dish that is super easy to make and very satisfying. Dinner in a bowl!


  • 1 pound (16 oz.) fettuccine pasta
  • 8 oz. pancetta or thick-cut bacon
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • FRESH peas or 10 oz. frozen petite peas
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup FRESHLY grated Parmesan cheese, reserving some for garnish.
  • FRESH lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
  • Salt and FRESH-cracked black pepper


  1. Put a large pot of water on to boil
  2. While the water is heating, sauté the pancetta in a large saucepan until brown and crispy, about 6 minutes. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels.
  3. Add the chopped onion into the pancetta grease and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the peas and minced garlic and cook until the garlic is fragrant and the peas are a bright green color, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  5. When the water is at a rolling boil, add 2 tablespoons of salt and drop in the pasta. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  6. Cook according to package directions or until al dente (firm to the bite).
  7. About a minute before the pasta is done, carefully reserve 1/2 cup of the starchy pasta water and set aside.
  8. Put the saucepan back on low heat. Add the drained pasta to the saucepan. Add the cooked pancetta and toss everything together to coat. Add the reserved pasta water, a splash at a time, to smooth out the sauce. Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon.
  9. Add most of the grated cheese and stir to combine.
  10. Plate and garnish with more cheese and plenty of fresh-cracked black pepper.


This recipe works well with almost any shape of pasta. You can substitute fresh or frozen asparagus or broccoli for the peas and thick-cut bacon or guanciale (pork jowels) for the pancetta. This is a very kid-friendly dish too!
Photo credits: Fettucine, pancetta and peas: Kyle Strickland via photopin cc Fresh peas: laurenhcraig via photopin cc

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