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White bowl of penne with peas, pancetta, lemon zest and shaved parmesan.

Creamy Pea & Pancetta Pasta

  • Author: Rachel
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2
  • Category: Dinner


This easy weeknight recipe for Pea & Pancetta Pasta with plenty of fresh lemon and cream is the perfect speedy pantry recipe to make for two (or more!), ready and on the table in under 30 minutes!


  • 200g (7 oz) penne pasta
  • sea salt
  • knob unsalted butter
  • 110g (4 oz) diced pancetta
  • 1 large banana shallot
  • generous glug white wine
  • 2 large handfuls frozen petit pois
  • 4 tbsp single cream (half and half)
  • 1/2 lemon zest
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • generous handful grated parmesan, plus extra for serving


  1. Cook the pasta in a pan of boiling, salted water as per the packets instructions. I usually start checking for doneness around the 12 minute mark. Drain well, and set aside along with a scant half mugful of pasta cooking water.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter over a medium high heat in a large frying pan until frothy. Add the pancetta, and cook until starting to crisp.
  3. Peel and finely chop the shallot, adding to the pan along with pinch of salt. Continue to cook until soft, not browned.
  4. Splash in a generous glug of white wine and cook for a few moments until reduced. Reduce the heat to medium low, then stir in the frozen peas, cream, lemon zest, and a good few grinds of black pepper.
  5. Stir in the cooked pasta and parmesan with a good splash of cooking water. Keep stirring and adding water, bit by bit until you have a smooth, silky sauce.
  6. Season to taste with a little more salt and pepper before serving in warm bowls.


I usually do without because I think there is enough going on, but dill or flat leaf parsley would be the herbs to add if you want to add a little more oomph.