Pasta with Grape Tomatoes, Ham & Peas

pasta with grape tomatoes, ham and peas
  • 4Servings


  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pound penne rigate or other pasta of choice
  • 3 tablespoons EVOO
  • 1/4 pound pancetta, guanciale, bacon or prosciutto ends, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken stock
  • 2 pints grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • A few basil leaves, torn
  • Grated parmigiano-reggiano, for topping


1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.

2. While the pasta is working, in a large skillet, heat the EVOO, 3 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta (or guanciale, bacon or prosciutto ends) and cook until the fat is rendered, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Stir in the wine (or chicken stock) to deglaze the pan.

3. Add the tomatoes; season with salt and pepper. Cover the pan tightly and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the tomatoes burst, 10 to 12 minutes. Mash up the tomatoes with a potato masher or fork. Stir in the peas and basil, then lower the heat to keep warm.

4. Add the pasta and reserved pasta cooking water to the sauce; toss to combine. Serve in shallow bowls, topped with cheese.