Creamy Zucchini, Lemon, and Pea Pasta with Crispy Pancetta

From Jenni Neidhart

2012 Sep/Oct

This simple pasta dish showcases the grassy sweetness of fresh summer peas and delicate tenderness of summer zucchini at its peak. The egg yolks lend a buttery richness to the sauce. Make sure to finish with a generous dusting of parmesan.


  • 1 lb spaghetti
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 c. fresh peas
  • 100 g. pancetta, diced
  • 2 medium to small zucchini, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 c. crème fraîche
  • 1 T. lemon zest
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • 1/4 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese,
    plus extra for finishing
  • salt and pepper to taste


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook until the pasta is tender. Add the fresh peas and cook for 1 minute, until the peas are just cooked. Drain the peas and spaghetti in a colander.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large frypan over medium-high heat, then add the diced pancetta and zucchini. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring, until the zucchini is golden and tender and the pancetta has crisped. Crush the garlic and stir it into the zucchini and pancetta and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes, until the garlic is softened. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, crème fraîche, lemon zest, lemon juice and
parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.

Put the pasta and peas in the frypan with the zucchini and pancetta mixture over medium heat. Stir in the egg yolk mixture and cook until everything is combined and creamy. Serve immediately with the extra parmesan. Serves 4.