Tomato, Arugula, and Pancetta Pasta

I watch Food Network a lot and one of my favorite shows is “Giada at Home”.  I love Giada.  I love pasta and cheese and vegetables and everything Italian.  I am Italian after all.   One day I was watching “Giada at Home” and she made this dish that was out-of-this-world-yummy looking!  Since it was a pretty simple looking meal to make, I decided to give it a whirl.  I’m always looking for a quick and easy meal to make on a weeknight after work!  If you’d rather visit Giada’s recipe, please feel free!

**Sorry for the lack of pictures.  I’m having trouble locating my camera!**

Tomato, Arugula, and Pancetta Pasta

1 pound filled pasta (i.e. ravioli, tortellini, etc)
6 slices pancetta, thin sliced and chopped
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 cups arugula
1/2 cup basil
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

Bring water to boil for the pasta.  Cook pasta according to manufacturer’s directions.  While the pasta is cooking, heat a pan to medium high heat and cook the pancetta until crispy.  Remove from the pan and drain.  (I took the rendered fat out of the pan as well because I didn’t want all that added grease.)  Add the tomatoes, oil, salt, and pepper to the pan and cook until tender and warmed through.  Add the arugula and basil and cook until they are wilted.  Add the butter to the pan and let melt.  Add the ravioli and cooked pancetta to the mixture and toss to coat.  Serve immediately.

A few notes…
1.  You can use whatever kind of filled pasta you like…cheese, vegetable, meat, etc.  You can even choose to make it with some regular type pasta like bowtie.  I’m sure it would be good no matter what you use.
2.  I did not read the directions carefully before going to the store to get my pancetta and I ended up getting it thick sliced.  I chopped it up into pretty small pieces, but I think the thin sliced would have been better.  The thick was very crunchy and sort of dominated the rest of the dish as far as texture.
3.  Jeff is not a huge fan of bacon-type meats and made the suggestion that it would be better with a different type of meat.  I think turkey sausage would go great with these flavors.  Ground chicken flavored with some garlic and/or pesto would do nicely too.  You wouldn’t get the crunch from either of these two meats, but that is something Jeff was not keen on with this dish.  You could also make this with regular bacon if you didn’t have pancetta on hand.
4.  Giada’s recipe on the Food Network website has a breakdown of times, so if you are curious about that, please check out the site listed above.

I hope you try this dish. It took less than 30 minutes to make from the time I started the water for the pasta to the time we sat down to eat.  It is a great go-to meal.

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