Macaroni with Pancetta, Peas, & Arugula
Disclosure: this post is sponsored by Mutti. All text and opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help me grow!
It’s National Macaroni Day! Raise your hand if you knew that was even a thing, cause I sure didn’t. When Mutti reached out and asked if I’d be on board to create a recipe to celebrate the occasion, it was a resounding yes. Because, not surprisingly, I’m of the firm belief that pasta is life. And macaroni with pancetta, peas, and arugula? It’s about to be your new weeknight favorite!
Case and point: the whole dish comes together in 15 minutes.
If that doesn’t sell you, I don’t know what will.
Alright, let’s talk taste. I immediately knew I wanted to highlight Mutti’s finely chopped tomatoes — their pure, sweet, unadulterated flavor is a match made in heaven with fresh English peas, but also offers a perfect contrast to the peppery arugula and crisp, salty pancetta. (Pro tip: buy your pancetta behind the deli counter instead of grabbing a pre-diced package from the refrigerated section; the quality is so much better!)
Top with a gratuitous amount of freshly cracked pepper and parmesan cheese, then dive right in.
I don’t usually opt for super cheesy macaroni dishes (I leave that to my kids, who go crazy, not surprisingly, over the classic dish). Instead, I used a generous handful of pre-shredded mixed Italian cheeses. Think fontina, asiago, provolone, and mozzarella. A little goes a long way and helps bind it all together.
Top with extra arugula micro greens — trust me on this one, so necessary — and pat yourself on the back because HEY! you just got dinner on the table in record time. National Macaroni Day success!Print
- 1 lb (16 oz) elbow pasta
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- ¼ lb pancetta, (cubed)
- 1 lb fresh English peas, (shelled)
- 1 cup mascarpone
- ½ cup whole milk
- 1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend ((asiago, provolone, mozzarella, fontina))
- 1 can Mutti finely chopped tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp chives, (thinly sliced)
- 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, (finely chopped)
- 2 cups arugula microgreens
- Parmesan cheese, (grated)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add pancetta and cook, stirring often, until browned and crisp on all sides, about 4 minutes. Place in a paper-towel lined bowl to drain.
- Bring a small pot of water to a boil, then add fresh peas. Cook for 3 minutes, then transfer to a bowl of ice water.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 4-5 minutes. Reserve ¼ cup of cooking liquid, then drain.
- Add mascarpone, ½ cup whole milk, and 1 cup shredded cheese to a large mixing bowl, then stir until cheeses have melted and a sauce has formed.
- Pour in 1 can Mutti finely chopped tomatoes, the cooled, drained peas, 2 tablespoons of reserved pasta water, and herbs, then toss gently to combine. Add more reserved water as needed to reach desired sauce consistency.
- Spoon generous helpings of pasta, then top each with a handful of arugula micrgoreens, a sprinkling of parmesan cheese, and lots of freshly ground black pepper.