Penne Ziti Rigate with Peas and Garden-Fresh Herbs

Penne Ziti Rigate with Peas and Garden-Fresh Herbs

Penne Ziti Rigate with Peas and Garden-Fresh Herbs

If you planted peas late fall like I did, you’ve probably come up with many different ways to enjoy it cooked or raw.  Not only that garden-fresh peas have a taste and texture exceedingly superior to store-bought peas, they are also very easy to grow and do not take long to produce.  As early as 30 days, you’ll have an abundance of pea shoots and tendrils for your salads, sandwiches, soups, and stir fries.  Just make sure you reserve some to grow if you want pea pods to harvest the following month.  For some who doubt they cannot grow peas to maturity, they can grow pea shoots and tendrils (smile).

Now on to the recipe!


  • 1 pound penne ziti rigate, cooked according to package directions reserving one (1) cup of the pasta cooking water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 ounces finely diced pancetta (anchovies are my favorite alternative)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigianio-Reggiano
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons snipped chives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint

Optional Ingredient

  • pepper flakes
  • diced jalapeno pepper


  1. Heat olive oil in a large, deep skillet.
  2. Add the pancetta and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.  If using anchovies, cook until dissolved in oil
  3. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add the peas and toss to coat.
  5. Add the pasta along with the reserved pasta water and the cheese.
  6. Season generously with pepper and cook over moderately high heat until the sauce is thick and creamy, about 2 minutes.
  7. Stir in the chives, parsley, basil, and mint.  Serve immediately.
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