ravioli with peas and pancetta

A BOWL OF PASTA DOESN’T ALWAYS MEAN TOMATO SAUCE. One of the easiest ideas I’ve learned from the Italians is to substitute traditional red sauce with something much simpler: extra virgin olive oil, fresh herbs and a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Dinner’s on the table in 20 minutes, and it’s a really good one.

This idea works for any type of pasta but I love using ravioli stuffed with spinach and cheese (a bonus built-in veggie is never a bad idea in my house!) I also added peas because Estelle loves them and pancetta because it’s always a hit with Phoebe. Fresh pasta only cooks for 4 minutes so the longest part of this meal prep is waiting for the water.

Put a big pot of water on the biggest burner, flame on high. In a separate large skillet, brown 1/2 cup of pancetta or diced bacon along with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. When the pancetta starts to get crispy, turn the burner off. Dice up 2-3 tablespoons of fresh basil and let it wait on the counter. Next grate 3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese; I like to add 1/2 cup into the pan and sprinkle a bit on top of each plate.

When the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook according to package instructions, minus 1 minute. Remove pasta but don’t drain out all the water–reserve 1 cup to use as needed in your “sauce”. Add the hot pasta to the skillet, then drizzle 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil on top. Add basil and peas, then stir gently. If the whole thing is too dry, add a bit of your pasta cooking water, starting in 1/4 cup intervals. It doesn’t need to be soupy, just moist enough to slide a big spoon in and serve up a delicious bowl of pasta with ease.

Ingredients needed to serve 4:

  • 1/2 cup pancetta or bacon cubed
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil – separated into two parts
  • 3/4 pound fresh pasta (spinach and cheese ravioli)
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh basil, diced
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup frozen peas

This is also a wonderful leftover meal; I eat it cold, almost like a pasta salad, for lunch the next day.

Comments

  1. Lori says

    I’ve made this dish so many times, my husband is tired of it! But let me tell you how much I love making dinner in about 10 mins after work! Plus I love the no-sauce-just-olive-oil thing. Tonight Chris worked late, so the boys and i had it. I substitute ground sausage that I cook up the night before. I kid you not, my boys had 3 servings each– Levi constantly asking for ‘more big meat’ and Caled saying ‘this is the best dinner ever’ as he scoured his plate for peas. Music to tired mama’s ears.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>