Pasta with Peas and Pancetta

Ingredients

3 quarts water
1 small carrot
1 stalk celery
½ (one half) medium onion
6 oz. pancetta, or bacon chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 cloves garlic, thickly sliced
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 can (28 oz) peeled Italian style peeled tomatoes, drained and chopped. Juices reserved
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup white wine
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
6 tablespoons freshly grated Romano cheese

Directions

Yield: 6 generous portions

Bring the water to a boil in a large pot.

Make a mirepoix (a flavorful vegetable base) with the carrot, celery and onion by finely chopping or whirling the vegetables in a food processor until just blended, 10-12 quick pulses.

Sauté the pancetta in the olive oil until it starts to brown, 2-3 minutes. Add the prepared mirepoix, garlic, basil, parsley and red pepper flakes and sauté with the pancetta until the vegetables have sweetened and become tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, and cook until water in the tomatoes has evaporated, 7 minutes. Deglaze with wine and reduce by one half. Add the residual juices from the tomatoes, the salt and pepper and bring the sauce to a boil. Simmer until slightly thickened, 10-12 minutes. Stir in the peas and cook until tender, 2 minutes.

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package, drain and return to the pot. Pour the sauce over the pasta and simmer over low heat , stirring constantly, until the pasta is well coated, about 3 minutes.

Turn the pasta out onto a warm serving dish and sprinkle with the cheese. The pasta is ready to be served.