Bon Appetit's May issue cover recipe for Fettuccine with Peas, Asparagus, and Pancetta was one that I'd pulled aside to try in the continuing seasonal intersection between local peas and farmers' market asparagus this year. In looking at the magazine photo on their website, it isn't difficult to see how the dish draws you in with the bright green colors and allure of fresh tastes.
I'd made something similar earlier in the week when I took some leftovers I'd brought home from dinner out. The difference in the glossy coating of the reduced cream sauce I pulled together versus the one that had just a bit of cream along with the olive oil and pasta water from the magazine article is almost visible in the photos.
I had had some pancetta and fresh parmesan in the fridge, so this seemed like a great way to try to use up some of those items as well. Mixing the veggies with the meat, cream, and cheese were a delicious combination and produced a much lighter sauce than the heavier ones usually dumped on pasta primavera. The peas and asparagus tasted fresher, and the crisp of the pancetta along with the brightness of the parsley and basil make this a dish I'll keep around to try every spring when I can get the ingredients seasonally and locally.
My photo - not from the magazine!
It turns out that I wasn't the only one who decided to tackle this recipe. When I typed it into Google to locate the link to the original site, I found that many food bloggers had also decided that this just hit the spot. One of the photos that I really like (and envy a bit) is that on Annie's Eats. There were several others as well who were draw in by the appeal of the simplicity of the dish and the power of the fresh produce that it brings together. It is easy enough to put on the table after a day at the office or, as it will be for me tonight, makes a tasty meal to end out the weekend.