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Pasta with Pancetta and Rocket

Cook's Note

Don’t add the rocket leaves until the very last minute or the leaves will begin to cook and wilt, and lose their precious peppery flavour.


Serve with mozzarella torn into pieces instead of Parmesan.

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  1. 1

    Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the onion, and cook over a low for 5 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Add the chilli and cook for a few minutes more. Add the pancetta and cook for 5 minutes, or until crisp and golden, then stir in the garlic and cook for a few more seconds.

  2. 2

    Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water for 6–8 minutes, or until it is cooked but still has a bit of bite to it. Drain, keeping back a tiny amount of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pan and toss together. Toss with the pancetta mixture, add the rocket, season to taste with salt and black pepper, and toss gently. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 250g pancetta, cubed
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated or finely chopped
  • 350g spaghetti
  • 200g wild rocket leaves
  • 1 sprinkling Parmesan cheese, grated, to serve
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper

Serves 4

Total time required Total time:

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Recipe published with permission from © Dorling Kindersley Limited. Cook Express 2009.


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