Orecchiette with Peas and Prosciutto

Orecchiette means "little ear" in Italian. This round pasta, with its cup-shaped center dent, is perfect for capturing bits of vegetables and sauce. Prosciutto is dry-cured pork that comes from the hind leg of the pig (i.e. ham). Mmmmm! Let's get on with the recipe...


  • ½ pound thick-cut prosciutto, diced
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ medium yellow onion, minced
  • 1 ½ cups green peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1 pound orecchiette
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Brown the prosciutto in the olive oil in a heavy frying pan until crisp. Remove the proscuitto with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the onion to the pan and cook until translucent. Add the peas and prosciutto and stir to combine. Turn flame to low heat while pasta cooks. Boil the orecchiette in salted water until al dente. Drain the pasta well and place in a bowl. Stir the butter and cheese into the pasta, add the pea/prosciutto mixture and toss to combine. If desired, offer extra freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano to be sprinkled on top.



kb1125 said...

Sounds delish. Do you supposed pancetta will work as well?

Donna Fasano said...

kb, I think that would work. Bacon would also work. However, pancetta and bacon come from the belly of the pig and are more fatty meats. So you might want to drain away some of the grease after they've cooked. Try to keep the pan liquids to approx 1/3 cup.

Annie B. said...

I sometime use Pancetta in place of Prosciutto and it works very well. Regular bacon? I don't know I'd like it as much as the P or P ... it just would not be as authentic as what I grew up with and serve my family now.

Donna Fasano said...

Annie, the smokiness of American bacon would change the whole experience. Not in a bad way...just different. :)

Thank you so much for stopping by!