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Pancetta & Peas Pasta aka Pasta e Piselli

Da Gagino’s is a family operated restaurant in Sorrento and a favorite among locals and tourists. They have a new cookbook filled with family recipes, southern Italian cooking tips and amazing photography of Sorrento’s city sites, as well as, delicious dishes.

The Esposito family shares some of its family secrets like the pasta e piselli, just one of Carolina’s specialties. I was lucky enough to assist and have it prepared with fresh peas!

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After shelling the peas, it was off to the kitchen to fry up some savory pancetta. The key to many recipes are minimal ingredients but the best quality. Some tips they share in their cookery book include:

  • “Always cook the pasta in the same water they use to cook the beans, lentils and in this case peas, as to retain as much of the flavor as possible.”
  • “Never  sprinkle Parmigiano cheese on beans or lentils!” (wow, another illegal Italian food violation)
  • “Peas (in pasta piselli) and boiled potatoes (in pasta e patate), on the other hand, are sweeter in terms of taste and therefore go well with Parmigiano.”
  • “Use up all your last bits of pasta (rigatoni, tubetti, spaghetti, etc) when making pasta mista
  • And the list goes on!

If you’re on tour with us at Sorrento Food Tours you can pick one up and have Ciro sign it for you!

Recipe: Serves 4

Chop up the pancetta into small pieces and fry together with the onion in a generous dash of olive oil and then add the white wine. When everything has turned a nice golden-brown, add the peas (piselli) and stir well to mix the flavours. Add the water, little by little, (this is the key to creating that creamy feel) and some salt. Add the pasta and give it a stir every now and then and don’t let it dry out, add more water if required. When the past is al dente the peas will also be done. Mangia!

-500g fresh peas, shelled

-2 thick slices of pancetta, cubed

-1 large onion, diced

-2 glasses of white wine- 20cl  (one for the pot and one for you!)

-500g pasta

-salt and pepper

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