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Creamy Orecchiette Pasta with Pancetta and Peas

Creamy Orecchiette Pasta with Pancetta and Peas
Creamy Orecchiette Pasta with Pancetta and Peas

The orecchiette, like little ear-shaped wonders, cradle a velvety sauce that weaves its magic through every nook and cranny. Pancetta, crisped to perfection, imparts a smoky depth, while tender peas add a pop of vibrant sweetness. This symphony of flavours unfolds in the embrace of a creamy sauce that knows no bounds.

This Creamy Orecchiette Pasta isn't just a meal; it's a love letter to the simplicity of Italian cuisine, a tribute to the notion that some of life's greatest pleasures come from the simplest of ingredients. Each bite is a journey through layers of taste and texture—a celebration of the harmonious marriage between pasta and sauce.

As I savour this dish, I'm reminded that food isn't just nourishment; it's a storyteller, a connector of hearts and minds. It's an invitation to indulge in life's simple joys, a reminder that beauty often lies in the uncomplicated.

So, let's raise our forks and embark on a culinary voyage that pays homage to the creamy, comforting delight of Creamy Orecchiette Pasta with Pancetta and Peas.

Creamy Orecchiette Pasta with Pancetta and Peas Recipe for 4 People


- 12 ounces (340g) orecchiette pasta

- Salt for boiling water

For the Creamy Sauce:

- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

- 4 ounces (115g) pancetta, diced

- 1/2 cup frozen peas

- 1 cup heavy cream

- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

- Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish


1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the orecchiette according to the package instructions until al dente. Reserve about 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta.

2. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the diced pancetta and sauté until it becomes crisp and golden brown, about 5-7 minutes.

3. Stir in the frozen peas and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until they are heated through.

4. Pour in the heavy cream and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. Let it cook for about 2-3 minutes, allowing the cream to thicken slightly.

5. Stir in the grated Parmesan cheese until the sauce becomes creamy and smooth. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

6. Add the cooked orecchiette to the skillet and toss to coat the pasta evenly with the creamy pancetta and pea sauce. If the sauce is too thick, you can add a bit of the reserved pasta cooking water to achieve your desired consistency.

7. Divide the Creamy Orecchiette Pasta with Pancetta and Peas among four plates or bowls.

8. Garnish each serving with chopped fresh parsley for a burst of color and freshness.

Suggested Side Dishes:

- A simple mixed green salad with a lemon vinaigrette

- Garlic bread or crusty Italian bread for mopping up the creamy sauce

- Roasted cherry tomatoes with garlic and herbs

Equipment Needed:

- Large pot for boiling pasta

- Large skillet for making the sauce

- Tongs or pasta fork for tossing the pasta

Commonly Made Mistakes and Points of Care:

1. Pasta Doneness: Cook the orecchiette until al dente, as it will continue to cook briefly when combined with the sauce. Taste a piece to ensure the right texture.

2. Pancetta Crisping: Ensure the pancetta becomes crisp and golden brown for the best flavour and texture.

3. Sauce Consistency: Adjust the sauce consistency with reserved pasta cooking water. It should coat the pasta evenly without being too thick or too thin.

4. Seasoning: Pancetta and Parmesan can be salty, so taste the sauce before adding additional salt.

5. Peas: Frozen peas work well in this dish, but you can also use fresh peas if they are in season for a burst of sweetness.

6. Garnish: Fresh parsley adds a pop of colour and freshness, so don't skip this step for presentation.

Indulge in the creamy, comforting embrace of Creamy Orecchiette Pasta with Pancetta and Peas, and let its simplicity and depth of flavour transport you to the heart of Italian cuisine. Savour the richness of the sauce, the smokiness of the pancetta, and the sweetness of the peas as you celebrate the joys of a well-prepared pasta dish. Buon appetito!

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