Pasta with Creamy Pancetta-and-Pea Sauce
Thanks to Lythrum for this recipe!

1/4 c. chopped pancetta or bacon
1 tsp. olive oil
1 c. diced onion
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
2 c. 1% low fat milk
1/4 c. (2 oz) 1/3 less fat cream cheese
2 1/2 c. frozen green peas, thawed (Note from Lythrum: I use baby ones)
1 1/4 c. (5 oz) grated fresh Parmesan
1/3 c. chopped fresh basil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
5 c. hot cooked pasta (I like farfalle for this)

Heat a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add pancetta; cook 1 minute or until browned. Place pancetta in a large bowl. Heat oil in pan.
Add onion and garlic; sauté 7 minutes. Add onion mixture to pancetta. Place flour in pan, gradually add milk; stir with a whisk until blended. Cook over medium heat until thick (about 5 minutes); stir constantly. Add cream cheese; stir until cheese melts. Stir in peas, 1 c. Parmesan, basil, salt and pepper. Add cheese sauce and pasta to pancetta mixture; toss well. Sprinkle with 1/4 c. Parmesan.

Note from Lythrum: I have found that about 1/2 c. of thinly sliced, chopped ham is outstanding with this. I saute the onion and ham in the bacon drippings, then add in the peas (because I always forget to thaw them) and cover the pan for a few minutes to let the peas cook. I add the flour to the pea-onion mixture and stir it, then add the milk. This gives you less chance for flour lumps to show up. I make the cheese sauce in with everything else, because it works fine and makes for easier clean-up.

Had this for dinner tonight, it's pretty quick, and really good. It's from Cooking Light, so it's healthy as-is. If you use my ham suggestion at the end, it will add to the fat content a bit, but I think it's worth it.

Comments (1)

On February 8, 2009 at 2:14 PM , ~TAMY 3 Sides of Crazy~ said...

This looks yummy!! I'm still laughing at pea sauce!