Fettuccine with Peas

Fettuccine con Piselli


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Yield:



Appears in


By James Peterson

Published 1991

  • About

This simple dish, best known in the Veneto (the region surrounding Venice), is based on a mixture of pancetta and butter, but lightly reduced cream can replace the butter and even the pancetta. This approach need not be limited to peas; other delicately flavored green vegetables such as asparagus tips, baby string beans, or baby green onions or leeks can be quickly blanched or boiled and tossed with the pasta. Parsley is called for in the traditional recipe, but other herbs such as chervil or chives can be used to give this dish a vaguely French touch.


pancetta, 1 slice, finely chopped 2 oz 60 g
onion, finely chopped 1 small 1 small
fresh peas, 2 to 3 lb (1 to 1.5 kg), shelled or frozen baby peas, thawed 2 to 3 cups or about lb (two 10-oz packages) 500 to 750 ml or 525 g
chicken stock ½ cup 125 ml
fresh fettuccine, linguine, pappardelle, or other strand pasta lb 575 g
unsalted butter 1 oz 30 g
finely chopped parsley (chopped at the last minute) 1 tbsp 15 ml
salt and pepper to taste to taste
freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid boil for cooking the pasta. If using fresh peas, bring another large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Cook the pancetta over medium heat for about 5 minutes in a heavy-bottomed pot. Stir in the onion and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the onion turns translucent, about 7 minutes.
  3. Blanch the fresh peas for 1 to 2 minutes, then drain.
  4. Add the stock and the peas to the onion mixture, turn the heat to high, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, gently folding the peas over so they cook evenly.
  5. Cook and drain the pasta. Toss the pasta with the butter and arrange in wide soup bowls (they must have rims because the sauce is very liquidy).
  6. Stir the parsley into the peas and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the peas and their cooking liquid over the pasta. Pass the Parmesan cheese at the table.