Lemon Pappardelle w/Pancetta Crimini Sauce

Lemon Pappardelle w/Pancetta & Crimini Sauce
Lemon Pappardelle w/Pancetta & Crimini Sauce

It’s time to treat yourself to a colorful experience.  I was in an artisan pasta shop and I found this beautifully colored pappardelle. It was colored organically.  They used beet root…tumeric, etc to give it the bright color.   I wanted to make something simple, elegant, colorful, rich, but with a zing..and simple.  The richness of the pancetta flavors and deep flavor of the crimini mushrooms needed that lemon zing to cut through it…giving it that fresh taste.  I also needed some herbs to give it a bite of freshness.

I wanted the sauce to be very quick and easy.  Corn starch is a quick thickening agent and gives it that perfect consistency that you want the sauce to have to coat each pasta noodle with ease.  Chicken broth (I like to use low sodium, so I control the salt intake) gives any sauce that fantastic extra flavor that water doesn’t have.  For a slightly extra thickening agent, I add a little of the salty, starchy pasta water…just a little…and that makes the angels sing and the harp music fill up your kitchen!

Put it all together and you have the right amount of bite, spice (if you want it) herbaciousness…and the pappardelle holds the sauce and vegetables so well.  I bite into the thick, perfect noodles…and the zest of the lemon..deep, rich flavor of the sauce and the freshness of the basil and parsley come through…and make this the perfect, filling meal!

Lemon Pappardelle w/Pancetta Crimini Sauce

½ lb colored pappardelle pasta

7 crimini mushrooms (baby portabella) (sliced)

4 oz pancetta (cubed)

½ purple onion (chopped)

1 cup chicken broth

1 tbsp corn starch.

¼ cup reserved pasta water

½ lemon (juice and zest)

1 cup arugula

¼ cup basil (sliced)

2 tbsp fresh parsley (chopped)

½ sliced jalapeno (optional for extra spice)

2 tbsp olive oil.

salt & pepper to taste


Boil salted water on the stove enough to cover the ½ lb of pappardelle. Place in the boiling water for approximately 9 minutes (depending on instructions on the package).

Place a sauté pan on the stove at medium to high heat. Cube the pancetta and allow it to sizzle. Mix it after a few minutes to make sure all sides are browned (about 7 minutes). Add the sliced mushrooms and onions and add salt and pepper to taste. You don’t need as much salt, because of the natural saltiness of the pancetta. Allow vegetables to sizzle until tender.

In a separate cup, add chicken broth and corn starch and mix with a wisk until there are no lumps. Pour in the heated sauté pan and add ¼ cup of the reserved pasta water. Allow it to reduce until it is thick, amber colored and bubbling in the pan. Shut off the heat and stir in the arugula. Add lemon juice and zest.

Place the noodles on the plate and cover with the sauce. Add lemon slices if desired. Spoon sauce on top with a ladle and sprinkle the chopped basil and parsley. Add the jalapeno for extra spice. Pour olive oil on top and toss. Enjoy!!!

Peppered Pancetta
Boil that colorful pasta!
Boil that colorful pasta!


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