Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Fettuccine with Peas, Asparagus and Pancetta

Oh my... What a simple delight. The other night, I received my Bon Appetit magazine in the mail. I had been slightly bored with their overly difficult, overly time consuming recipes, and then I found this. I was making my grocery list, and I wanted something that was close to vegetarian but very filling. I glanced upon the picture below and decided this dish was the winner.

I gathered all of the ingredients and made it for supper the following night. Now how to describe it... the peas added a nice touch of sweetness that would have otherwise been missing. The pancetta and parmesan blended nicely with the lemon, which was very unexpected and light. And the basil... oh the basil, that was the perfect finishing touch. Can you tell I love pasta? This tasted like "healthy" fettuccine alfredo, if there is such a thing, because it at least had something green in it. At any rate, it is highly reccommended. Here is how you make it:


*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.

*Can I add it is a superb pre-running meal!*

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