Pennetti is small penne, or tubular pasta. I like it here because the peas and small pieces of pancetta in the simple sauce cling to the little noodles when the final dish is enriched with a generous dose of butter and grated cheese. This is easy pasta cooking at its best.
- 6 ounces pancetta, diced (about 1 cup)
- ¼cup diced yellow onion
- 2 cups frozen peas
- 1¼cups chicken stock
- 1 pound dried pennetti pasta
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¾cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ¼cup extra virgin olive oil
1 In a small saucepan, cook the pancetta over low heat until crispy and the fat is rendered. Add the onion and cook for about 6 minutes, or until the onion softens and is slightly caramelized.
2 Add the peas and stock to the pan, stir, raise the heat to medium, and continue to cook gently.
3 Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package instructions until nearly al dente. Drain, reserving about ¼cup of the pasta water.
4 Add the pasta to the sauce and cook for about 2 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente. Add a little pasta water, if needed, to thin or loosen the sauce.
5 Add the butter to the pasta and stir until the butter is incorporated. Stir the cheese into the pasta and season to taste with salt and pepper. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil.
The sommelier recommends...
This is a pasta dish for white wine lovers. The flavor components to consider here are salty Parmigiano, green tones from the peas, and the smoky pancetta. Try a ripe, round Inzolia from Sicily produced by Baglio di Pianetto. The grape varietal is indigenous to the island and was originally primarily used to make Marsala.
Excerpted from Osteria by Rick Tramonto and Mary Goodbody.Copyright 2008 by Rick Tramonto. Excerpted by permission of Random House of Canada Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.