Pasta pancetta e piselli is the sort of meal that you can throw together in a matter of minutes when you have had a super busy day and return home, exhausted, to find no fresh groceries. Keep these staples on hand at all times and confidently know that you will be minutes away from a delicious and satisfying meal any time of day. The burst of green from the frozen peas joins with the pancetta’s rich flavor and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese to complete the dish. Pasta pancetta e piselli is a consistent and reliable pantry-reliant recipe.

Serves 4-6


for the pasta and sauce

  • 16 ounces (1 pound) pasta like radiatori or fusilli
  • 8 ounces pancetta, cubed
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 12 ounces frozen peas

for the garnish

  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pancetta in a large skillet on medium-high heat until crisp and golden, about 7 minutes. Add the shallot and onion and cook for 4 minutes. Then add the garlic and cook for another 4 minutes. Add the crushed red pepper and cook. Add the peas and stir to evenly distribute. 

Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until just under al-dente, around 6-7 minutes. Strain and transfer to the dutch oven and mix until all ingredients are evenly combined. Slowly mix in the parsley. Turn off the heat and grate lemon zest over top along with parmesan cheese.