Orzo Risotto with Pancetta and Peas

Orzo pancetta peas easy dinner recipe

This recipe belongs in the repertoire of every home cook, especially one with small children under foot. It hits all the hallmarks of a meal worth making—satisfying, simple, one-pot—and is sure to entice everyone in your family to the table.


Adapted from Nigellisima

Serves 2 adults and 2 small children

You’ll Need

  • 200 g cubed pancetta
  • 1 ½ cups frozen peas
  • ½ lb. orzo
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Prep and Cook

  • Fill a kettle with water and bring to a boil.
  • Heat two tablespoons of oil in a Dutch over set over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring, until it becomes crisp and golden. Add the peas and stir for a minute or until the frozen look leaves them.
  • Add the pasta and stir it into the pancetta and peas. Season cautiously with salt—the pancetta is salty—and pour in 2 ½ cups of the boiling water.
  • Turn down the heat and stir the pasta. Let simmer for 10 minutes, but do check on it a couple of times and give it a stir or two to prevent it from sticking and to see if you need to add a little more water from the kettle.
  • When the pasta is soft and starchy and the water is absorbed, stir the butter and Parmesan cheese into the pot. Check seasonings and adjust if necessary. Serve immediately.


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