One-Pot Wonders: Whole-Wheat Linguine With Pancetta, Peas, Corn, and Mint


Fresh mint, peas, and corn are the perfect counterpoint to crispy bits of pancetta. [Photographs: Yasmin Fahr]

I've always promised myself that I would never be one of those people who write about ways to eat better when summer approaches, with titles like, "10 Meals to Get Ready for Swimsuit Season." I prefer to think that I eat the same no matter the time of year (and always fit into my bathing suit).

But I think that with the warmer seasons, there comes a natural inclination to want to eat lighter just because it gets hotter and it's not as pleasant to be cooking or eating intense, heavy meals (well, excluding burgers, steaks, and other grilled items because that's just pure outdoors fun). This quick, one-pot recipe fills that role well, with fresh mint, peas, and corn, and just a bit of crispy pancetta.

And because I cook it all in one pot, the rendered fat from the pancetta becomes a flavorful base for the simple sauce of sautéed shallots, dried red chili flakes, and chicken stock. Unlike more traditional pastas, here I add extra stock to the sauce and then cook the pasta directly in it. The excess moisture should just about be absorbed by the time the pasta has finished cooking, leaving an addictive, creamy sauce. To finish it, I add a bit of olive oil and lemon juice for both flavor and a little extra liquid at the end.

I love the whole wheat here, but you can also make the pasta with another kind of pasta if you wish—just don't skimp on the vegetables; if you're anything like me, you need them to remind you that warm weather is finally here.