Orecchiette with radicchio, peas and smoked pancetta

DSC_0239  Orecchiette “little ears” as it translates in Italian. The pasta shape resembles little ears although I try not to think about that as I’m eating it. It’s not the most appetising thought. This is a quick, simple and excellent dish to make, as are most of our recipes. There are times when I like to take time cooking, relaxing with a glass of wine, making homemade pasta, stewing or roasting things for hours but just by chance a lot of what we make is delicious, easy, simple and takes no time at all. Perfect for everyday cooking. We have changed this recipe a few times in the past and maybe it will change again but that’s what cooking is all about, you can add, takeaway and adjust things as you like so try this out and let us know what you think. If you make any adjustments, great! Let us know how you like to mix up your recipes!

Serves 2:
250g orecchiette pasta
65g smoked cubed pancetta
2 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
60g peas
1/2 chicken stock cube
2 tbsp mascarpone
Handful of radicchio, roughly chopped

First thing to get sorted is a pan of salted water and bring it to the boil. In a frying pan under a medium heat, fry the pancetta until it starts to crisp up and brown slightly. Add the pasta to the water now. Then add the chopped garlic to the pancetta, fry for a minute then add the stock cube followed by two large spoons of pasta water. Wait for the stock cube to melt then add the peas, let simmer for a couple minutes. Taste the pasta and drain if “al dente”. Turn the pan to the lowest heat and add the mascarpone followed by a little pepper. I found this needed no salt as the pancetta is quite salty and the stock cube adds seasoning too but give the sauce a taste and see what you think. Finally add the pasta to the sauce and mix thoroughly. Add some of the chopped radicchio and transfer to lovely big bowls and finally top with the rest of the radicchio. Enjoy!!

P.s Make sure you don’t add the radicchio too soon into the pasta as it loses it’s lovely vibrant purple colour and turns brown when cooked.