Rigatoni pesto with pancetta and peas

This wonderful summer recipe is full of freshness but is a great way to brighten up a weekend night in. With crispy pancetta, plump cherry tomatoes and plenty of fresh basil, this dish oozes simplicity and deliciousness.


  • 225g of rigatoni or other form of pasta

  • 115g pancetta, cubed

  • 85g frozen peas

  • 1/2 clove garlic, crushed

  • 1 big bunch of fresh basil

  • handful of pine nuts, toasted

  • handful of grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish

  • pinch of red pepper flakes

  • 1/4 cup olive oil, you may need a little more

  • cherry tomatoes, sliced in half


  1. Cook pancetta in a dry skillet over medium-high heat until browned, about 5 minutes.

  2. Drain on a paper towel lined plate. Pour off most of the fat from the pan.

  3. Add the peas and cherry tomatoes, sauté until warmed through, about 3 minutes

  4. To make the pesto, add garlic and pinch of salt to the bowl of a food processor or, in my case, the glass of a blender. Pulse until chopped finely.

  5. Add pine nuts then basil and puree.

  6. Add cheese, pinch of red pepper flake and mix.

  7. Drizzle oil through the top until mixture comes to the correct consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste

  8. In a large bowl, Add pasta, pancetta, peas and pesto and mix well.

  9. Taste and adjust seasoning. (I added some more Parmesan cheese while I tossed the pasta)

  10. Serve warm or at room temperature

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