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Sophia Whitney’s grandmother was from Calabria and made this delicious dish often. With a few classic Italian ingredients, including pancetta and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and about six steps, you can make Sophia’s authentic family recipe. 


  • 11 oz ditalini pasta (or any small pasta/macaroni)
  • Olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ½ large or 1 small onion chopped
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 6 oz (as much as desired) pancetta (or regular bacon) diced
  • 1 lb (16oz) fresh peas (if frozen need to be thawed a bit)
  • Salt, pepper (to taste)
  • Broth (vegetable or chicken) 1-1 ½ cups depending on how much sauce/broth you like (more can be added)
  • Parmigiano Reggiano


  1. In a large pot, boil salted water to cook ditalini. While ditalini is cooking, create sauce.
  2. Heat olive oil and 1 tbsp of butter over medium/low heat in a large pan/pot. Add onion and sauté for about 2-3 minutes. (add red pepper flakes at this time if desired). Add the diced pancetta stirring 1-2 minutes additional minutes. Add peas. Sauté over low heat until peas turn brighter green (about 3 minutes). Add broth and simmer on low to create some liquid for the pasta. Broth can always be added if “sauce” evaporates too much or to obtain desired consistency.
  3. Once pasta is done, drain water and add 1 tablespoon of butter (any kind). This helps prevent the pasta from sucking up all the liquid/sauce and becoming too dry.
  4. Add Parmigiano Reggiano if desired.

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