Second course

Pasta Shells with Pancetta and Peas

  • 30 min
  • 4 people
  • Easy
Recipe by

James - Sip and Feast


  • 1 pound medium shell pasta
  • 1 pound frozen peas
  • 4 ounces Citterio Pancetta Cubetti
  • 1 medium onion
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup parsley
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper


  1. Begin by dicing one medium onion, and slicing 5 cloves of garlic. Also, mince a 1/4 cup of parsley. Cook pasta to 2 minutes less than package instructions and reserve at least 3 cups of the pasta water.
  2. In a large deep pan saute the pancetta in 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium-low heat.
  3. After the pancetta starts to release its fat and crisp up (about 8 minutes) add in the onion and saute for 5-8 minutes until soft and translucent.  Next, add the garlic and cook for 2-3 more minutes.
  4. Add the frozen peas and a cup of pasta water to the pan.  Turn heat to medium and let the peas cook for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add in the ‘al dente’ pasta shells and give it all a stir.
  6. Let the pasta cook for a few minutes in the pan to absorb some of the pasta water.  As the shells absorb the pasta water, add a ladle or 2 more as needed.  Add a 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and 1 teaspoon kosher salt.  Stir it together and taste test.  If the pasta is too firm, continue to cook for a few more minutes.  Adjust salt and pepper if needed, and if satisifed turn off the heat and add the fresh parsley.

Serve with grated cheese and a nice drizzle of extra virgin olive oil on each serving.  Note – If the pasta dries out at all before serving guests, just add a couple more ladles of the pasta water.  The dish shouldn’t be soupy, but at the same time, you don’t want it too dry.


  • Feel free to use double the amount of pancetta for a stronger more robust flavor.
  • Use a large, deep pan to hold all of the pasta, peas, and pancetta.
  • Make sure to reserve a few cups of the pasta water.  If the pasta dries out before serving just add a ladle full of pasta water to bring back the perfect consistency.
  • Shells are recommended to catch the pancetta and peas, but any small pasta can be used.
  • Serve with grated cheese and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Buon appetito ;-)

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