Recipe: Spaghetti with Crispy Pancetta, Peas, and Burrata

Recipe: Spaghetti with Crispy Pancetta, Peas, and Burrata

Kelli Foster
May 14, 2018
(Image credit: Christine Han)

You know that basic box of spaghetti you keep stashed in the pantry? I'm about to show you how to really make it live up to its full potential. This gem is easy enough to pull together on a Monday night when you're pressed for time, but fancy enough to hold its own when you host friends or your new in-laws for dinner.

Soft, creamy burrata steals the show to make everyday spaghetti and frozen peas feel super special. Crisp bites of pancetta add a salty twist, and a handful of fresh basil and mint balance it out with a sweet, fragrant aroma that keep this meal feeling seasonal and fresh.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

Add Burrata for an Instantly Fancy Spaghetti Dinner

Burrata means buttered in Italian, which is just a small sneak peek into the creamy richness that comes with this cheese. At first glance it resembles a ball of fresh mozzarella, and it's even made from a combination of mozzarella and cream, but that is just one side of this special cheese.

The real charm of burrata — and what sets it apart — is what's on the inside. Cut through the solid outer curd made from fresh mozzarella, and you'll discover a lush and creamy center. It's exceptionally rich with a milky, buttery flavor only highlighted by the freshness of the mint and basil.

Read more: What's the Difference Between Mozzarella and Burrata?

5 Recipes for Fast and Fancy Weeknight Dinners

Embrace fast-and-fancy dinners and your meal plan will never be the same again. This week we're sharing five recipes that teach you the magic of everyday fast-and-fancy meals. These dinners are impressive and feel a little more special than your standard weeknight fare, yet are quick and easy enough to pull together any night of the week.

Spaghetti with Crispy Pancetta, Peas, and Burrata

Serves 2 to 3

  • 10 ounces

    dry spaghetti

  • 6 ounces

    pancetta, small dice

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 2

    cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 1/2 cups

    frozen peas

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 cup

    coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves

  • 1/2 cup

    coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves

  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon

    red pepper flakes

  • 8 ounces

    burrata, cut into 1-inch chunks

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, place the pancetta in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and most of the fat has rendered, about 10 minutes.

When the water is ready, add the pasta and cook per package instructions until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta and set aside.

Use slotted spoon to transfer the browned pancetta to a paper towel-lined plate. Add the oil and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the spaghetti, reserved pasta water, peas, salt, and pepper. Toss to combine and cook the pasta water thickens and forms a sauce, about 1 minute.

Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the basil, mint, and red pepper flakes. Top with the burrata and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

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