Pappardelle With Pancetta and Peas
The very notion of buttery noodles and fresh sweet peas is enough to make anyone swoon. As a meal, it is the essence of simplicity. But no one will complain if there is also a whisper of new green garlic, a dab of herby pesto and a dollop of ricotta. Oh, and a touch of lemon zest. Add tender mustard greens and a few bites of pancetta or bacon to round it all out.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 4thick slices pancetta or bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch lardons (about 2 ounces)
- About 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
- About 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- About 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 2or 3 stalks green garlic shoots, white and tender green parts, finely chopped
- 4cups fresh sweet peas, from about 3 pounds in the pod
- Salt and pepper
- 2cups tender mustard greens, chopped, or substitute whole mizuna or arugula leaves
- 1cup fresh ricotta cheese
- Zest of 1 small lemon
- 1pound best-quality egg pappardelle, dried, or fresh homemade egg pasta cut into wide ribbons
- Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
Step 1Set a small saucepan of water over high heat and bring to a boil. Add pancetta and cook for 1 minute, then drain and set aside.
Step 2Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil on the back burner, for cooking the pasta.
Step 3Meanwhile, put basil, parsley and mint in a mortar or mini food processor and mash to a coarse paste with about 1/4 cup oil. Set aside.
Step 4Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a wide skillet over medium-high heat. Add green garlic and peas, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Allow garlic and peas to sizzle without browning for about 1 minute. Add reserved pancetta and 1/2 cup water, and bring to a simmer for 1 minute more. Stir in mustard greens to wilt slightly, then add herb paste, ricotta and lemon zest. Turn off the heat
Step 5Cook the pasta at a brisk simmer until al dente. Drain and toss gently with ingredients in skillet. Taste and adjust seasoning. Transfer to a warm platter or individual dishes and serve immediately. Pass grated cheese at the table.