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Pasta Risotto with Peas & Pancetta


  • 2 Tbs. Roasted Garlic Olive Oil
  • 6 ounces cubed pancetta (or diced, thick-cut bacon)
  • 1 1/4 cups frozen petite peas
  • 8 ounces orzo pasta
  • 2 1/2 cups boiling water
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 Tb. soft butter
  • 2 Tbs. grated Parmesan
  • Pepper, to taste


Warm the oil in a heavy pan that will take everything later; a Dutch oven or saucepan of 10 inches diameter should be plenty big enough. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring, until it becomes crisp and bronzed, then add the peas and stir for a minute or so until the frozen look leaves them. Add the pasta and turn it about in the pancetta and peas, then pour in the boiling water. Add salt (cautiously, especially if this is for children – the pancetta is salty, as is the Parmesan later); turn down the heat and let simmer for 10 minutes, though check on it a couple times and give it a stir or two, to stop it from sticking and to see if you need to add a little more water from the kettle. When it’s ready, the pasta should be soft and starchy and the water absorbed. Beat the butter and the Parmesan into the pan, check the seasoning, and serve immediately into warm waiting bowls.

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