Almost Meatless Monday: Fettuccine with Peas, Asparagus, and Pancetta
Ok, so we didn’t have a meatless Monday but this recipe could easily be adapted to be vegetarian but it is just so good with the pancetta, I am not sure you’ll want to eliminate it. If you opt for a vegetarian version, just saute the asparagus in olive oil instead of the pancetta drippings.
I just love spring produce and this recipe showcases some of my favorites– fresh asparagus, peas, and green onions. I cheated and used frozen peas, but bought some gorgeous asparagus, green onions, and fresh basil and parsley at the Manhattan Fruit Exchange. The lemon juice and zest adds a nice brightness to the dish and the pancetta adds great flavor.
The parmesan and cream make a nice light cream sauce. Since it was only two of us, I cut the penne by about one-third to half but used all of the veggies the recipe called for.
Tim and I both loved this dish! I definitely plan to make it again.
Fettuccine with Peas, Asparagus, and Pancetta
- 12 ounces fettuccine or penne
- 3 ounces pancetta or bacon, chopped
- 1 1/4 pounds asparagus, trimmed, cut on diagonal into 1-inch pieces
- 2 cups shelled fresh green peas, blanched 1 minute in boiling water, drained, or frozen peas (do not thaw)
- 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced, white and pale green parts separated from dark green parts
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil, divided
Cook pasta in pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot.
Meanwhile, cook pancetta in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 teaspoon drippings from skillet. Add asparagus to drippings in skillet; sauté 3 minutes. Add peas, white and pale green parts of green onions, and garlic; sauté until vegetables are just tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Add vegetable mixture, 1/4 cup pasta cooking liquid, dark green parts of green onions, 1/2 cup Parmesan, cream, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon peel, half of parsley, and half of basil to pasta. Toss, adding more cooking liquid by tablespoonfuls if needed. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer to large bowl. Sprinkle pancetta, remaining parsley, and basil over. Serve, passing additional Parmesan cheese.