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Fettuccine with Peas, Asparagus, and Bacon

a bowl of fettuccine pasta with asparagus, bacon, peas, and cheese

This pasta dish is the epitome of spring.  It has a fresh combo of colors for the eyes, and it teases the taste buds with tender asparagus and peas, salty bacon and parmesan, and herbaceous basil and Italian parsley.  There is a nice light touch of cream and lemon to finish it off.  Simply perfect.

The recipe calls for salty pork in the form of either pancetta or bacon.  I chose bacon, only because I had plenty of it on hand.  And it was extremely good.  I’ll make it the very same way next time.

Have you tried the double-smoked bacon from Hagberg’s in Lake Elmo?  If you haven’t, you should – it’s delicious!  Their butchers will cut it to your specifications.  We request ours nice and thick.

And if there was a complaint from my family about this dish, it was the bacon…

“Not enough bacon!”

I thought the 3-ounce sprinkling of bacon was perfect for this spring pasta. But just to keep the troops happy, next time I’ll fry up a plate of bacon to serve on the side.

Fettuccine with Peas, Asparagus, and Bacon

Yield: 6-8 Servings


12 oz. fettuccine or penne
3 oz. pancetta or bacon, chopped
1-1/4 lbs. asparagus, trimmed, cut diagonally into 1″ pieces
2 c. fresh or frozen peas
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced, white and pale green parts separated from dark green parts
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 c. finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for serving
1/3 c. heavy whipping cream
3 T. extra-virgin olive oil
3 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 T. finely grated lemon peel
1/4 c. chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided
1/4 c. thinly sliced fresh basil, divided


Cook pasta in pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite.  Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid.  Return pasta to pot.

Meanwhile, cook pancetta or bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp.  Using slotted spoon, transfer meat to paper towels to drain.  Pour off all but 1 teaspoon drippings from skillet.  Add asparagus to drippings in skillet; saute 3 minutes.  Add peas, white and pale green parts of green onions, and garlic; saute until vegetables are just tender, about 2 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Add vegetable mixture, 1/4 cup pasta cooking liquid, dark green parts of green onions, 1/2 cup Parmesan, cream, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon peel, half of parsley, and half of basil to pasta.  Toss, adding more cooking liquid by tablespoonfuls if needed.  Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Transfer to large bowl.  Sprinkle meat, remaining parsley, and basil over.  Serve, passing additional Parmesan cheese.

Adapted from  Bon Appetit