Quick & Yummy – Pasta with Spinach, Peas and Pancetta

As I contemplated the approach of the holiday season, I found myself in a bit of a panic when it came to dinner time. Where on earth is a mere human supposed to find the time to cook a meal when there are gifts to be purchased and wrapped, cards full of well wishes to be mailed, cookies to be baked, relatives to be picked up/dropped off at the airport, parties to be thrown and/or attended, carols to be sung, stockings to be stuffed, and so on and son. Where, I ask you, where?

Thankfully, there are many talented chefs out there who manage to invent delicious recipes that are quick and easy to prepare. I hope Santa left something especially nice under their tree this year….

Pasta with Spinach, Peas and Pancetta
inspired, yet again, by Jaime Oliver

  • about 10 slices of pancetta or good quality bacon, if you prefer
  • 1/2 c. parmesan cheese
  • small bunch of mint
  • glug of olive oil
  • 2 c. of baby spinach (or more, if you would like)
  • 2 or 3 heaping Tbsp of creme fraiche (sour cream would work here too)
  • 2 c. of frozen peas (or more if you would like)
  • 1 package of mini-shell pasta

1) Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook your pasta shells as directed.

2) Add a tiny glug of olive oil to a large size sauce pan and saute your pancetta.

3) When the pancetta is starting to crisp, add the spinach leaves and give a really good stir so the fat is coating all of the spinach. It will begin to wilt.

4)Now add the frozen peas to the mixture and give it a good stir. When all of the peas have been mixed around, add the creme fraiche and chopped mint.

5) By this time your pasta should be boiling. Drain and try to reserve some of the cooking water.

6) Now add the pasta to your mix of pancetta, peas and spinach. Give it a really good stir so it is all coated with your lovely sauce. If you find it is a bit too dry, you have two choices…more creme fraiche or you can add some of the cooking water you saved from the pasta.

7) When the sauce is to your liking, give it a few minutes to cook (medium heat is good here). Remove from heat and stir in the parmesan cheese.

8) Serve immediately…this one is definitely best hot (like most pastas, I think).



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