I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: sometimes you just need a big bowl of pasta. This recipe uses one of my favorite pastas, tortellini, and crispy little bites of pancetta balanced with fresh spring veggies — english peas and sautéed leeks. Pasta is one of the meals I love to fall back on for busy weeknight dinners because you do so much with it in a short period of time! A few shortcuts I use are cooking the peas in the same water as the pasta (just add them in during the last few minutes of cooking time) and buying the pre-diced pancetta package at Trader Joe’s for perfectly cut cubes that crisp up fast in the pan. I even used some leftover chicken cutlets to top this dish to add in some protein; you could prep the chicken in advance to cut down on time. Get the full recipe below:
- 1 lb of Cheese Tortellini
- 1 Cup of English Peas
- 4 Tbsp of Butter
- ½ Cup of Diced Pancetta
- ¾ Cup of thinly sliced leeks (just the white and light green parts)
- 2 Cloves of garlic, minced
- ½ Cup of White Wine
- ½ Cup of Reserved Pasta Water
- ½ Cup of Parmesan Cheese
- Cracked Black Pepper
- Olive Oil
- Fresh Parsley, for garnishing
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook tortellini as directed to al dente; during the last 2-3 minutes of cooking, add the peas to the boiling water. Drain pasta and reserve ½ cup of pasta water.
- While the tortellini is cooking, melt butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the diced pancetta to the pan and stir until it begins to crisp.
- Add the leeks and garlic to the pan, and sauté until the leeks have softened.
- Deglaze the pan with white wine, and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the reserved pasta water and simmer until the sauce reduces slightly.
- Add the tortellini, peas, and parmesan cheese to the sauce in the pan and toss to coat.
- Season with fresh black pepper and drizzle with olive oil and fresh parsley before serving.
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