Rita's Kitchen: Guanciale and Pea Pasta
Rita's Kitchen: Guanciale and Pea Pasta
Posted on
June 25, 2024

"When the weather turns warm, I tend to favor light, fresh, and quick pastas over ones that are creamy, hearty, and time-consuming. And while nothing can top a fresh tomato sauce, this lemony guanciale and peas recipe definitely deserves a spot on your summer dinner rotation. While I usually see this combination made with pancetta, I prefer guanciale because it’s more tender and fatty, giving the pasta a lush quality that’s simply irresistible. After rendering off the guanciale and using the fat to cook shallots and fresh peas, we hit it with lots of lemon juice and zest to add acidity and brightness that takes the dish to the next level. Finish with lots of parmesan and pretend you’re in Italy, wherever you are."
-Rita @SaturdayTable


Serves: 2-3 
Cook time: 15 minutes 


8 oz farfalle or other short pasta 
4 oz guanciale, cut into cubes 
½ large shallot or 1 small shallot, diced (about 3 tbsp total) 
⅔ cups fresh peas 
4 tbsp lemon juice (from about 2 lemons, depending on how juicy they are) Zest of 1 lemon 
½ cup grated parmigiano, plus more for serving 


  1. Bring a medium pot of very salted water to a boil and add your pasta. Cook according to package directions until al dente. 
  2. Meanwhile, heat a medium-sized skillet over high heat. Add your guanciale and cook for 3-5 minutes, until the fat has rendered and the guanciale is crisp.
  3. Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon, leaving the rendered fat in the pan.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and add your shallots. Cook, stirring frequently to prevent burning, for 2-3 minutes, until shallots are golden.
  5. Add your peas and cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Add your lemon juice, zest, cooked pasta, and grated parmigiano, along with cooked guanciale and a ladleful or two of pasta water. Stir to combine.
  7. You want a glossy sauce that coats the pasta, so you might need to add more pasta water to achieve this.
  8. Serve with more parmigiano on top, and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.

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