Orecchiette means “little ears” in Italy. The round pasta is made to hold on to thicker sauces and ingredients and are a nice change from regular pasta.
Here, the pasta holds onto melted, thick ricotta cheese and tucked inside of each “little ear” is pancetta and healthy sweet peas; a sneaky way to get your veggies in.
Serve with a salad and garlic bread and you have a delicious meal.
1 lb.- Orecchiette pasta
1 Tbsp.- olive oil
1/2 lb. pancetta, diced and fried
4 Tbsp.- butter
1 – small onion
2 Tbsp. chicken stock
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 cup- ricotta cheese
1 and 1/2 cups- thawed peas
1/4 cup- reggiano cheese or parmesan, your choice for the top.
Boil water and cook pasta according to package
Heat oil and add your pancetta, cut into bite sized pieces or strips
Add your garlic and sauté until pancetta is crispy and golden brown
Remove to paper towel lined plate to drain
In same pan, add butter, onion and saute these until translucent and soft
Add your chicken stock, and salt and pepper
Add back in the fried pancetta and cook 2 minutes
Add ricotta cheese and whisk, bringing it to a low simmer (about 5 minutes)
Stir in cooked pasta and stir to coat
Stir in peas last. Allow to sit for about 2 minutes to heat through.
Top with your choice of cheese and serve.
Note: This pasta tends to be a bit bland. Season yours to taste with extra salt, pepper and adding more garlic and onion if desired.