Peas and Crispy Pancetta with Lemon, Mint, and Parmesan

Simple peas and crispy Italian pancetta amped up with lemon zest, champagne vinegar, Parmesan, and mint! Could there be anything better? This zesty side dish is the perfect refreshing, flavorful Spring dish. It can be served with ham, beef, lamb, or roast chicken and can easily be scaled up to serve a crowd. Using frozen peas means that it can be made any time of year. Find the best quality pancetta you can. It gets super crispy and smoky when sauteed and adds great flavor to the entire dish. The peas are cooked quickly, until just tender, and then mixed with lemon zest, mint, and a healthy dusting of Parmesan. Yum!

Peas and Crispy Pancetta with Lemon, Mint, and Parmesan

Serves 4

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Cuisine: Italian


  • 4 oz. diced pancetta (best quality you can find)
  • 2 shallots, sliced thin
  • 12 oz. frozen green peas, rinsed under warm tap water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh mint
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Heat a large sauté pan over med-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook until the fat has rendered and the pancetta is crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Add the shallots, breaking up the rings with a wooden spoon. Cook until the shallot begins to caramelize. 
  2. Add the peas, salt, and pepper and cook until the peas are tender and warmed through. Stir in the lemon zest, vinegar, and mint. Transfer peas to a serving dish and top with Parmesan. 

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