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quick fix: 
asta with pancetta & peas 
by Yee-Fan Sun 

Salty pancetta, sweet peas and a creamy sauce make for a pasta dish that's so good that no one will ever guess how easy it was for you to whip it up. Start making the sauce while you're waiting for your pasta water to boil; by the time the pasta's done cooking, the sauce will be ready and waiting. Serve with a simple tossed green salad and finish with amaretto-spiked coffee and biscotti, and you have yourself the perfect solution for those days when you'd really like to make dinner feel special, but just can't seem to scrounge up the time to slave away in the kitchen.

For an extra special treat, stir in an ounce or two of crumbled goat cheese into the finished sauce, to give an added layer of tangy flavor. Even without the goat cheese, though, this pasta tastes plenty rich.

2 oz. pancetta (Italian bacon), diced up
onion, peeled, ends discarded, and minced
2 fat cloves garlic, peeled, end discarded, and minced
1 cups frozen petit peas, thawed
2 Tbsp. dry white wine
2 Tbsp. heavy cream, or more if desired
cup milk (skim's fine, although a fattier milk will yield richer results)
lb. short pretty-shaped pasta of your choice

serves 2
20 minutes

1 Start a pot of water boiling for the pasta. Cook the pasta.
2 Meanwhile, heat up a sauce pan or skillet over medium-high heat. After a minute or so, toss in the diced pancetta. Pan-fry the pancetta for another couple of minutes, until you can smell that good bacony aroma and the pancetta's starting to sizzle in the pan.
3 Toss the garlic and onion into the mix, and continue stirring and cooking until the veggies are softened and the pancetta browning, say 4 or 5 minutes.
4 Add in the peas and cook for another minute.
5 Pour in the wine and stir it around, loosening any stuck-on browned bits that are on the bottom of the pan. When the wine has mostly bubbled off, after a couple of minutes, add the cream and milk.
6 Bring the milk mixture to a slight bubble, then lower the heat to keep the sauce gently simmering away while you wait for the pasta to finish cooking. Cook for at least five minutes or so, to give the sauce some time to evaporate off some of the liquid and thicken up slightly.
7 When the pasta's done cooking, taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper as needed. Toss the sauce with the drained pasta, give it another taste to check for adequate seasoning; add more salt and pepper if necessary. Enjoy!


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