Orecchiette with Peas and Pancetta

Pancetta, peas and fresh herbs give this orecchiette recipe a unique and wonderful flavour

Orecchiette with Peas and Pancetta

The three stars of this pasta dish – orecchiette noodles, pancetta and peas

Pancetta, sweet peas and orecchiette noodles combine in this delightful pasta recipe

“Little ears” is the name of the pasta in this dish, which refers to the shape, similar to a squashed little earlobe. You can use whatever pasta you like for this dish, but keep to small compact shapes — don’t try a string pasta like spaghetti or linguine.


  • 300 grams orecchiette pasta
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. Chilli 2.0
  • 100 grams spicy pancetta, diced
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups frozen sweet peas (the smallest ones available)
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped parsley
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Fleur de sel and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to finish


  1. Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling water until it is al dente.
  2. Drain the pasta and drizzle about 1 Tbsp. olive oil over it to prevent it from gumming together. Toss to ensure all the pasta has a coating of oil. Set aside.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, pour the remaining 3 Tbsp. olive oil in a sauté pan and heat over medium heat. Add the shallot, garlic and Chilli 2.0. Sauté just until the moisture begins to cook away.
  4. Add the pancetta to the pan and maintain medium heat until the pancetta is crispy.
  5. Add the stock and let it reduce over high heat for 5 minutes.
  6. Toss in the peas, chopped herbs, lemon juice and the reserved pasta.
  7. Turn the heat down to low and let the ingredients heat through.
  8. Season with fleur de sel, fresh ground pepper and a heap of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Serves 4 to 5.

Originally published in TVW. For daily programming updates and on-screen Entertainment news, subscribe to the free TVW e-newsletters, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.