Shrimp and Shells with Pancetta and Peas
Rachael says, "Shrimp and pasta seashells? This one is as cute as it is tasty and simple. Peas and bacon or pancetta have been a favorite of mine since I was little. Adding protein and pasta turns an old, favorite side dish into a main course."
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1/4 pound pancetta, chopped or 4 slices of bacon, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped or grated
- 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails off
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 boxes frozen peas (10 ounces each), defrosted
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest and the juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 cup packed flat leaf parsley leaves (a couple of handfuls)
- 2 cups chicken stock, divided
- 1 pound medium size pasta shells
- Place a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil. Add the pasta shells and cook to al dente, with a bite left to them.
While the pasta is cooking, place a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add the EVOO, two turns of the pan. Add the pancetta or bacon and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until browned. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook 5-6 minutes more until pink and firm. Season with salt and pepper.
While the pancetta and shrimp are cooking, place one box of the defrosted peas in a food processor along with about 1 teaspoon lemon zest, the juice of 1/2 lemon and 1 cup chicken stock. Puree until smooth.
Add the ground pea mixture to the skillet along with the remaining chicken stock to thin it out, then add the chopped parsley leaves and the reserved box of peas. Season the shrimp and pea sauce with salt and pepper. Add the cooked pasta shells, toss to combine and serve.