Spaghetti Tossed with Peas, Onions and Pancetta

Spaghetti is gently tossed with a simple sauce made with peas, onions, olive oil and pancetta.  The flavors in this simple sauce become enhanced and intensified by using our favorite Italian bacon, pancetta!  A favorite in our house, and it's a dish you can whip up in 20 minutes or less!
Start by sautéing the pancetta in a skillet along with the olive oil and some onions.  Next, add some crushed red pepper and peas, resulting in an easy-to-make and light sauce.  Extra virgin olive oil is what we highly recommend using.

While this meal is nothing fancy, the combination of flavors are amazing together and  create a truly delicious dish!  The only garnish needed is grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese on top!  Even your littlest, fussiest eaters will devour this dish.

A perfect meatless Monday's dish! This is a great summer meal to serve to my family because I take great pleasure in knowing they're eating vegetables with one of their favorite foods - spaghetti!  Buon Appetit!

Spaghetti Tossed with Peas, Onions and Pancetta

  • 3 to 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil - divided
  • 1 large onion - chopped
  • 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 5 Tbsp. (about 2 ounces) cubed pancetta
  • 1 (16 ounce) frozen petite peas
  • 1/4 tsp. salt.
  • 3/4 cup water
  • fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and extra at the table
  • 1/2 to 3/4 pound spaghetti or any pasta

In a medium size sauté pan, heat on medium-heat and add 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, along with the onions.  Sauté onions until they are soft and turn a golden color, about 3 to 4 minutes. 
Add pancetta and crushed red pepper, and continue to sauté, stirring until the pancetta is fully cooked, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Add in the peas and salt.  Sauté peas for about 2 minutes, until peas are completely defrosted and all the flavors infuse together.  Finally, pour in the water and cover with a large lid.  Simmer on low-medium heat for about 15 minutes.

Meantime, in a large pot of boiling water, add 1 teaspoon of salt to water.
Add spaghetti or your favorite pasta to the boiling water and cook the pasta to "al-dente," about 6 minutes.  Reserve 1/3 cup of boiling pasta water (before draining).

Drain pasta, and bring the pasta back into the pot.  Add the peas mixture and the reserved water, and sauté while stirring everything on low heat for about 1 to 2 minutes.  Turn off heat.

Drizzle on top with extra-virgin olive oil, about 1 to 2 tablespoons, or add 2 Tbsp. of butter instead.  Add in 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, and mix to combine everything.  Add fresh cracked pepper to taste.  Serve with extra grated cheese at the table.

Serves 4 to 5
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