Salsa di Piselli e Pancetta

Pea and Pancetta Sauce

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Preparation info

  • 6

    • Difficulty


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Alastair Little's Italian Kitchen

Alastair Little's Italian Kitchen

By Alastair Little

Published 1996

  • About

This is an utterly classic combination, and crops up all over the world – pea and ham soup, Chinese fried rice, petits pois à la française. Obviously a good thing!


  • 1 kg peas in pod
  • 120 g pancetta, cut into 5 mm dice 500 ml Vegetable Broth
  • 75 g butter
  • ½ onion, peeled and very finely diced
  • salt and pepper
  • 60 g Parmesan, freshly grated


Pod the peas. String and chop the pods, then boil in the vegetable broth for 20 minutes. Sieve and keep warm. Discard the solids.

Melt 60 g of the butter in a saucepan, add the onion and pancetta, and sweat for 10 minutes. The pancetta should be translucent. Add the peas, and sweat for a further 10 minutes. Add a little of the broth and simmer over a medium heat for a minimum of 20 minutes, by which time the liquid should have reduced considerably. The pancetta should be very tender. Big peas will take up to 40 minutes. The sauce can be made in advance.

Cook your pasta and drain. Return to the pan, and add the hot sauce, the remaining butter and the grated Parmesan. Season with freshly grated black pepper (this dish likes pepper), and possibly a little salt.

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