Pasta With Pancetta and Lemon

Serves 4.

Note: Use whatever pasta shape suits your fancy. This is easily expanded to serve a crowd. From Beth Dooley.

• 16 oz. dried pasta*

• 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

• 2 to 3 oz. pancetta, cut into 1-in. cubes

• 3 large cloves garlic, peeled

• 1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley

• 1 lemon, juice and zest (Meyer lemons preferred), or more to taste

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente, about 10 to 12 minutes, or according to package instructions. Retain 1 cup of the pasta-cooking water. Drain the pasta.

In a large skillet over medium-low heat, add the oil and pancetta and cook until the pancetta is dark and very crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the pancetta and drain on paper towels.

Remove all but ¼ cup of the rendered fat and oil from the pan and add the garlic. Set over low heat and cook until the garlic takes on a blond color, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove and discard the garlic cloves.

Stir in the chopped parsley and the 1 cup of pasta cooking water and increase the heat to bring to a simmer, whisking the sauce until it’s thickened, about 30 seconds. Toss in the cooked pasta, lemon juice and zest and cooked pancetta. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Variation: If you have fresh pasta, do not cook the pasta first. After removing the garlic cloves from the oil, add the pasta to the pan along with just enough hot water to cover. Cook until the pasta is tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Toss in the lemon juice, zest and cooked pancetta. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 640

Fat 17 g

Sodium 575 mg

Carbohydrates 99 g

Saturated fat 5 g

Total sugars 3 g

Protein 20 g

Cholesterol 13 mg

Dietary fiber 6 g

Exchanges per serving: 6 starch, ½ carb, 2 fat.