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Pancetta, Asparagus and Goat Cheese Orecchiette

While I have been in the mood to eat healthy, I recently stumbled upon this delicious looking orecchiette recipe in a Williams-Sonoma catalog. What first caught my eye was the bright asparagus and the cheese engulfing each noodle.

I was inspired to try this dish and after doing so had to share it with you. It was both easy and delicious; something that can't be beat!

So without further ado...

Enjoy :)

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Servings: 4 to 6


  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1 lb. (500 g) asparagus, ends trimmed, spears cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces

  • 5 oz. (155 g) pancetta, chopped

  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped

  • 12 oz. (375 g) orecchiette

  • 6 Tbs. (3 fl. oz./90 ml) olive oil

  • 1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g) grated Parmesan cheese

  • 3 oz. (90 g) goat cheese, at room temperature, cut or broken into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces

  • 2 Tbs. pine nuts, toasted


Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the asparagus and cook just until barely fork-tender, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the asparagus to a plate and set aside. Return the water to a boil. In a fry pan over medium-high heat, cook the pancetta, stirring occasionally, until crisp and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to paper towels to drain. Do not wipe the pan clean. Add the onion to the fat in the pan and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until lightly browned and soft, about 5 minutes. Add the orecchiette to the boiling water and cook according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) of the cooking water, and set aside. Add the olive oil to the pan and stir in the asparagus, pancetta and reserved pasta water. Add the orecchiette and stir to mix well. Cook until the sauce in the pan thickens just a bit, about 2 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan, goat cheese and pine nuts. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

*This recipe is credited to Williams-Sonoma.

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