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Weight Watchers Pancetta Pasta

I don’t know about you but pasta is usually never turned down in my household. Even the pickiest of eaters enjoy a good bowl of warm pasta. Am I right?!

Enter the Weight Watchers Pasta with Peas and Pancetta. It is perfect as a slimming lunch or dinner for those wanting to count their calories or adhere to an eating plan like Weight Watchers. And what’s more, it only takes 30 minutes to make which is ideal for a busy week or if you aren’t in the mood to make an elaborate meal.  

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What Is Pancetta?

Pancetta is Italian cured pork belly – the equivalent of streaky bacon. It has a deep, strong and salty flavour and comes either smoked or unsmoked. Pancetta makes a great addition to pasta and add’s plenty of flavour and punch to a recipe. You don’t need a whole ton of pancetta either. You can just add a small amount to flavour up your pasta dish! 

Adding Peas To Pasta 

While some might find it odd to add peas to a pasta recipe, I can tell you that these little veggies add so much flavour to the dish while the crushed red pepper, parsley and lemon gives it that extra kick. It’ll definitely be a new pasta recipe that you will be returning to!

Here’s what you are going to need to make this delicious Italian dish:  

Equipment & Supplies

  • Stockpot
  • Large cast-iron skillet
  • Measuring cups
  • Paper towels
  • 1 Large plate

Ingredients For Pancetta Pasta

  • 3/4 Lb. Spaghetti (thin)
  • Salt
  • Olive Oil
  • 4-oz of Bacon (cut into pieces)
  • 1 Shallot (thinly sliced)
  • 2 Cups of Frozen Peas (thawed)
  • 8 Large Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • Black Pepper
  • 2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper (divided)
  • 1 Bunch Parsley (chopped)
  • 1 Lemon (zested and juiced)
  • Parmesan Cheese (grated)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes 

Total Time:  30 minutes

Yields: 6 servings

How To Cook Pancetta Pasta

Line a large plate with paper towels.

Add both the salt and a slight amount of olive oil to a pot of water big enough to hold the spaghetti.

Bring the water to a boil.

Cook the pasta following its package instructions.

Before draining the water from the pot scoop out about 1 cup of water and set it aside for later.

Drain the rest of the water from the pasta.

Heat the skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully add the bacon pieces and fry the bacon until fully cooked and brown. Toss the bacon pieces often. 

Take the bacon pieces out of the skillet placing it on the lined plate. 

Replace the skillet on the stovetop and set it on medium heat. Add 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Heat the skillet with the oil until it has a shimmer but not smoking. 

Slowly add the shallots, peas, salt, pepper, and 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper. Increase the stovetop heat to a medium-high, cooking for about 5 minutes. Toss often. 

Add the garlic and parsley and cook for another 3 minutes. (Check to make sure that the peas are fully cooked).

Return the bacon pieces to the skillet. Add the cooked pasta and 3/4 cup of the pasta water. Add in the rest of the crushed red pepper, lemon zest and juice and toss to combine.

Add the grated cheese to the pasta. Start out with 3-4 tablespoons and add more if you desire. Taste test for salt and pepper. 

Transfer the combined ingredients to a serving plate or to individual serving bowls and enjoy!

A Vegetarian Take On This Pasta Dish

Now, if you are vegetarian or looking for a veggie-only pasta dish, this recipe can easily be adapted by substituting the bacon with a meat substitute such as Quorn. Some have even added nuts in place of the meat. 

Adding some mushrooms to this Weight Watchers pasta recipe is also a great way to increase the vegetable content and they are particularly complementary to most pasta recipes. 

Just make sure that you adjust your seasoning if you do remove the bacon from the recipe as bacon is naturally quite salty. 

Yield: 6 Servings

Weight Watchers Pancetta Pasta

Pancetta Pea Pasta

This Weight Watchers Pasta with Peas and Pancetta is perfect as a slimming lunch or dinner for those wanting to count their calories or adhere to an eating plan like Weight Watchers. And what’s more, it only takes 30 minutes to make which is ideal for a busy week or if you aren’t in the mood to make an elaborate meal. 

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

Equipment & Supplies

  • Stockpot
  • Large cast-iron skillet
  • Measuring cups
  • Paper towels
  • 1 Large plate

Ingredients For Pancetta Pasta

  • 3/4 Lb. Spaghetti (thin)
  • Salt
  • Olive Oil
  • 4-oz of Bacon (cut into pieces)
  • 1 Shallot (thinly sliced)
  • 2 Cups of Frozen Peas (thawed)
  • 8 Large Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • Black Pepper
  • 2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper (divided)
  • 1 Bunch Parsley (chopped)
  • 1 Lemon (zested and juiced)
  • Parmesan Cheese (grated)

Instructions

  1. Line a large plate with paper towels.
  2. Add both the salt and a slight amount of olive oil to a pot of water big enough to hold the spaghetti.
  3. Bring the water to a boil.
  4. Cook the pasta following its package instructions.
  5. Before draining the water from the pot scoop out about 1 cup of water and set it aside for later.
  6. Drain the rest of the water from the pasta.
  7. Heat the skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully add the bacon pieces and fry the bacon until fully cooked and brown. Toss the bacon pieces often. 
  8. Take the bacon pieces out of the skillet placing it on the lined plate. 
  9. Replace the skillet on the stovetop and set it on medium heat. Add 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Heat the skillet with the oil until it has a shimmer but not smoking. 
  10. Slowly add the shallots, peas, salt, pepper, and 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper. Increase the stovetop heat to a medium-high, cooking for about 5 minutes. Toss often. 
  11. Add the garlic and parsley and cook for another 3 minutes. (Check to make sure that the peas are fully cooked).
  12. Return the bacon pieces to the skillet. Add the cooked pasta and 3/4 cup of the pasta water. Add in the rest of the crushed red pepper, lemon zest and juice and toss to combine.
  13. Add the grated cheese to the pasta. Start out with 3-4 tablespoons and add more if you desire. Taste test for salt and pepper. 
  14. Transfer the combined ingredients to a serving plate or to individual serving bowls and enjoy!

Interested In More Weight Watchers Recipes?

If you’ve had a look around my blog, you will see that I post a lot of Weight Watchers recipes that my readers love! You may want to see more of these slimming and delicious recipes that will keep you on track with your goals and keep your tastebuds satisfied.