Spaghetti Tossed with Peas Onions and Pancetta is a simple but exquisite dish that creates a sauce made with only extra virgin olive oil, frozen peas, chopped onion, and pancetta. This dish is very light, and delicate tasting and it’s ready in less than 25 minutes.
While this spaghetti tossed with peas onions and pancetta is nothing fancy, the result is FA-BLU-LOUS!
It is a meal that’s satisfying and SO delicious – it’s sublime!
The secret to its amazing flavor is due to our favorite Italian bacon, pancetta, and, of course, good quality extra virgin olive oil.
Ingredients Needed for Spaghetti Tossed with Peas Onions and Pancetta…
- extra virgin olive oil
- crushed red pepper
- cubed, already diced pancetta
- frozen petite or baby peas
- water and vegetable broth
- fresh parsley
- optional: some butter
- grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and extra at the table
- 1/2 to 3/4 pound of spaghetti or gluten-free spaghetti
How To Make Spaghetti Tossed with Peas Onions and Pancetta?
There are 4 easy steps to making this simple dish:
1. First, start by sautéing the chopped onion in a skillet along with some olive oil.
2. Next, add some crushed red pepper, and pancetta.
3. Third, the peas go in, along with some water, and broth and simmers for about 15 minutes. This creates a very quick and light sauce.
4. Finally, the spaghetti is boiled until al-dente, and then it’s transferred and gets tossed with the peas and pancetta mixture.
Cook’s Notes and Tips:
- No need for any creams. The sauce is finished off with some grated parmesan cheese and a little butter to create a light cream sauce and a creamy effect without adding a ton of fat and calories.
- Use only good quality extra virgin olive oil. It’s one of the main ingredients that really gives great flavor to this entire dish. The label for “extra virgin olive oil” should read “Product of Italy” ….and not just “packed in Italy.”
- Our mom always uses salty pasta water to create the sauce, but I added a splash of vegetable broth to give this sauce more depth of flavor.
Questions & Answers…
1. What is the difference between olive oil that is labeled “Product of Italy” and “Packed” in Italy?
- When looking for olive oils, keep in mind, that there is a huge difference in “the quality” of olive oil rather than quantity.
- The olives have to come from Italy and not from other foreign countries, which is how some olive oil brands process their oil.
- If the label reads “packed in Italy” or “packed in Greece,” there’s nothing wrong with those olive oils, but they are not the best. And you will definitely notice the difference in taste and in flavor.
2. What is the difference between pancetta and bacon?
- Although they both come from the belly of the pig, the main difference between pancetta and bacon is that bacon is smoked and pancetta is salt-cured and dried.
- Pancetta is light pink with a dense, silky texture, and nutty but salty flavor. Bacon has a smoky flavor.
3. Can we omit the pancetta?
Yes, you can. If you prefer, you can omit the pancetta, but you will need to season the peas with additional salt to taste.
4. How to reheat leftovers?
We prefer to reheat leftovers in the microwave. If you don’t have one, you can easily toss leftovers in a skillet and on the stovetop, and reheat this dish on low heat, for a few minutes.
I bet everyone will enjoy this dish, even your littlest, fussiest eaters will devour it.
The only thing needed is to serve it with more grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese at the table, and let everyone help themselves.
And, of course, a glass of wine wouldn’t hurt either.
Perfect to serve for as an “easy dinner” and on meatless Mondays!
This dish gives me great pleasure every time I serve it to my family, simply because I’m happy they’re eating vegetables with one of their favorite foods – and that is spaghetti!
Try this recipe! You won’t be disappointed.
…Thanks for Pinning!
More Tasty Pasta with Veggies… try these!
- Zucchini Tomato Sauce over Fusilli Pasta.
- Spaghetti with Wild Mushrooms, Cognac and Truffle Oil.
- Pasta with Creamy Cauliflower.
- Spaghetti Squash with Tomato Sauce.
- Spaghetti with Zucchini (alla Nerano)
- Bow Tie Pasta with Red Yellow and Orange Peppers.
- Pasta with Italian Squash or Calabaza Squash.
- Spaghetti with Roasted Eggplant, Tomatoes, and Mozzarella
- 3 to 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil - divided
- 1 large onion - chopped
- 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper
- 5 Tbsp. (about 2 ounces) already diced pancetta
- 4 cups (16-ounces) frozen petite peas - rinsed and drained.
- 1/4 tsp. salt.
- 3/4 cup water
- splash of vegetable broth, (about 1/4 cup)
- fresh cracked pepper to taste
- Optional: 2 Tbsp. butter
- 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and extra at the table
- 1/2 to 3/4 pound spaghetti or Gluten-Free Spaghetti
- In a medium or large-size sauté pan, heat on moderate heat and add 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, along with the onions. Sauté onions until they are soft and turn a golden color, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add pancetta and crushed red pepper, and continue to sauté, stirring until the pancetta is fully cooked for about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add in the peas and salt. Sauté peas for about 2 minutes, until peas are completely defrosted and all the flavors infuse together. Finally, pour in the water and a splash of vegetable broth. Then cover with a large lid. Simmer on low-medium heat for about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat.
- Meantime, in a large pot of boiling water, add 1 teaspoon of salt to the water. Add the spaghetti or your favorite gluten-free pasta to the boiling water and cook the pasta to "al-dente," for about 5 to 6 minutes.
- When the pasta is ready, using a large spaghetti fork, grab the spaghetti and transfer it into the skillet with the peas mixture.
- Drizzle on top with extra-virgin olive oil, about 1 to 2 tablespoons, or add 2 Tbsp. of butter instead.
- Optional: finally, stir in 1/4 cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and mix to combine everything. Add fresh cracked pepper to taste. Serve with extra grated cheese at the table.
- Serves 3 to 4
Yield:3 to 4 servings
Serving Size:1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 449Total Fat: 18.3gCarbohydrates: 57.4gProtein: 15.6g
|Serving size: 1 serving|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 18.3g||23%|
|Saturated Fat 5.5g||28%|
|Total Carbohydrate 57.4g||21%|
|Dietary Fiber 9.6g||34%|
|Total Sugars 9.1g|
|Vitamin D 4mcg||20%|
Any questions? Please, ask away! And, if you make this recipe for spaghetti tossed with peas onions and pancetta, let us know and leave a comment below! We’d love to hear from you. It not only helps those who read your comments but it helps us too.
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Originally published August 2015, updated March 2021.