Small Maccheroni with Peas and Pancetta

Maccheroncini ai Piselli e Pancetta

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


    as a main course

Appears in

Fresh peas will give the best flavor to this sauce, but when they are not in season, substitute premium frozen peas.

Total time: 40 minutes


  • pounds fresh peas in the pod or 8 ounces frozen peas
  • ½ medium yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 ounces pancetta, sliced ¼ inch thick
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound maccheroncini
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


  1. If using fresh peas, shell them.
  2. Peel and finely chop the onion. Put it with the butter in a 10-inch skillet. Place over medium-high heat and sauté, stirring occasionally, until it turns a rich golden color, about 5 minutes.
  3. Fill a pot for the pasta with at least 6 quarts water, place over high heat, and bring to a boil.
  4. While the onion is sautéing, unravel the pancetta and cut into thin strips about 1 inch long. When the onion is done, add the pancetta and cook until it begins to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the peas, season with salt and pepper, and stir until well coated. If using fresh peas, add just enough water to cover the peas. Lower the heat to medium and cook, uncovered, until the peas are tender, about 20 minutes if using fresh or 10 minutes if using frozen. If the pan dries out before the peas are tender, add a little water. When the peas are done, there should not be any liquid left in the pan.
  5. Add about 2 tablespoons salt to the boiling water, put in the pasta, and stir well. Cook until al dente.
  6. Add the cream to the peas and cook until the cream is thick enough to coat a spoon, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  7. When the pasta is done, drain it well, toss with the sauce and the Parmigiano, and serve at once.