Fettuccine with Peas, Asparagus and Pancetta

This spring is the first time I came to truly appreciate asparagus.  I’ve made some great dishes with it before, but I think this risotto is what officially converted me.  When I saw this recipe on the cover of Bon Appétit for May, I mentally filed it as “need to make – soon!”  So, I did.  And you know what?  It was a lot like the spring green risotto, except as with pasta instead of rice and the addition of bacon.  The flavors are remarkably similar, which I consider a very good thing because I’m just a little bit in love with the risotto.  I can just imagine how much better it would have been with fresh peas from the farmers’ market, and you better believe I’ll be making it again just as soon as I can find them.

Fettuccine with Peas, Asparagus and Pancetta
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12 oz. pasta, such as fettuccine
3 oz. pancetta or bacon, chopped
1 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
2 cups shelled fresh peas (blanched 1 minute), or frozen peas
1 bunch green onions, sliced thinly, white and green parts separated
2 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. lemon zest
2-4 tbsp. fresh parsely, minced and divided
¼ cup fresh basil, minced and divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  Cook the pasta just until al dente according to the package directions.  Drain, reserving ½ cup of the pasta water.  Return the pasta to the pot.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Cook the pancetta or bacon just until crisp, and transfer to a paper-towel lined plate using a slotted spoon.  Pour off almost all of the grease from the pan.  Return the pan to the heat and add the asparagus.  Sauté for 3 minutes.  Add the peas, white parts of the green onions, and garlic to the pan; sauté until fragrant and just tender, about 2 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat.

Transfer the vegetable mixture, ¼ cup of the reserved pasta water, green parts of the green onions, Parmesan cheese, cream, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, half of the parsley and basil to the pot with the cooked pasta.  Toss well until combine.  Add additional pasta water a tablespoon at a time, if necessary.  Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.  Transfer to a large serving bowl.  Sprinkle with the pancetta, remaining parsley and basil.  Serve immediately with additional grated Parmesan, if desired.

Source: adapted from Bon Appétit, May 2010

22 Responses

  1. I can’t wait to try this pasta, it looks so amazing! What a tasty dinner 🙂

  2. Looks great. I am curious, What are your thoughts on using Low Carb pastas?

  3. Putting this on next week’s menu plan. My children love all of the things included (I don’t know why my oldest hates strawberries but eats asparagus) so it should be a bit!


  4. I have also made this and used bacon instead of pancetta. I didn’t expect the rest of my family to like it as much as they did (their only complaint was they wanted more bacon!), but it was a real hit. I will definitely be making it again! And I am also looking forward to using fresh peas, just as you said.

  5. This looks so yummy and fresh!!

  6. I too filed this recipe away as a must make! Now I really need to make it!

  7. Definitely making this one. Easy enough for a weeknight!

  8. I need to get some fresh peas and make this. Looks wonderful.

  9. So delish! Gotta love all the fresh veggies of summer!

  10. Perfect weeknight meal at my house.

  11. I also made this recipe from Bon Appetit. We didn’t have any bacon or pancetta on hand, so we did without. It definitely missed the flavor from the bacon. It was pretty mellow, but still pretty good. We will be making it again soon though, with the bacon this time.

  12. So pretty! Hurry up and find the peas. Ours here are ending 😦 I’ve got one last to make with the peas I just got at the farmer’s market. Hmmmmm….what to make?

  13. Hi,

    Please consider submitting your fettuccine photo as well as some of your other shots to FoodGazing.com. FoodGazing.com was launched just a few weeks ago and we are looking for great food photos and recipes.

  14. This pasta looks perfect!!

  15. This looks great, but since I’ve been dying to try a risotto, which you mentioned, I’m going to go sifting through your archives for a good risotto recipe!

  16. This looks so satisfying and refreshing! Love the combination!

  17. This looks so amazing to me! I wonder if I can get my veggie hating hubby to jump on board with this dish because I am seriously salivating! I love asparagus. The only thing that could make this more perfect in my book is some broccoli. 🙂

    • Your photo looks fantastic. I need to work on getting mine to look as good as the dish actually was to eat. I’m glad that so many food bloggers have tried this recipe. I think it is definitely a keeper! (and hopefully it converts some of the non-veggie eaters)

  18. I saw your pictures on Foodgawker and I just knew I had to make this recipe. I finally tried my hand at it tonight and the results were fantastic. Thank you for the lovely photos and the incredible meal.

  19. My friend told me about your website, and I am already completely in love with it! All of the recipes she’s tried have been amazing, and I just tried this one out tonight and loved it! You are such an inspiration. I’m just starting out cooking myself in my first apartment, and I hope to be half as good as you some day! Thanks so much for posting. 🙂 Great pictures, too!

  20. Just made this for dinner tonight and it was a huge hit. The flavors work so well together. Thank you for another delish dinner!

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