Easy 30-Minute Pancetta Pesto Pasta is a flavorful dish with basil pesto, bucatini, and delicious pancetta. A simple recipe that is a perfect dinner when you’re short on time!
There are so many reasons to love pasta and this pesto pasta with pancetta is just one of my favorites. It’s a simple 30-minute dinner that’s loaded with flavor.
I love a simple pesto pasta but adding some delicious pancetta makes it a more filling meal. Pancetta is salt-cured cured pork that is flavored with seasonings. It’s similar to bacon but it’s not smoked and it adds a lot of flavor to whatever dish you have it in. It’s great in simple pasta dishes because the fat adds flavor. Plus, it turns golden and a little crispy when you cook it giving your dish a nice texture, too.
Pairing it with pesto gives this pasta dish fresh flavors and also a nice savory flavor. The perfect easy pasta dish that is great for weeknight dinners.
- Bucatini – You can also use other long pasta shapes like spaghetti, linguine, or fettuccine. Or try another type of pasta like penne or fusilli.
- Hot pasta water – Before you drain the pasta, scoop out some of the starchy water. It will help emulsify the sauce so it’s nice and creamy.
- Chopped pancetta – You can chop it yourself or use diced pancetta if that’s what you can find.
- Olive oil
- Basil pesto – You can use homemade pesto or use store-bought pesto.
- Salt and black pepper
How to Make Pancetta Pesto Pasta
Boil the pasta following the package instructions. Before draining it, remove 1/3 cup of the hot pasta water and set it aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook it until it’s golden.
Add the pesto to the pan and stir to combine. Adjust the heat to high and add the cooked pasta and pasta cooking liquid. Cook and stir or toss constantly for 30 to 45 seconds or until the sauce is creamy.
Serve the pesto pasta hot with some grated Parmesan cheese on top if desired.
Use a Different Kind of Pesto
I love this dish with basil pesto made with fresh basil leaves, pine nuts, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. You can also use other kinds of pesto, here are a few of my favorite recipes:
Can you add bacon to pesto pasta?
Yes, you can use bacon instead of pancetta or another kind of pork like even diced cooked ham.
Pancetta and pesto pasta is my favorite kind of quick and easy comfort food. Give it a try and enjoy!
More Easy Pasta Recipes
- Bucatini and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
- Hot Caprese Pasta
- Traditional Alfredo Pasta
- Pasta with Tuna and Olives
Pancetta and Pesto Pasta
- 3 cups pasta cooked (bucatini, spaghetti, penne or fusilli)
- ⅓ cup hot pasta water
- 1½ cups chopped pancetta (200 grams)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup basil pesto (homemade or store bought)* 120
- 1-2 pinches salt (best to salt after depending on how salty the pancetta is)
- 1-2 dashes pepper
*Basil Pesto – homemade
- 3-4 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
- While the pancetta is cooking, cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente.
- In a large pan add the olive oil and the pancetta cook on medium heat until cooked and golden, add the pesto and stir to combine, add the cooked drained pasta and the pasta water, heat on high stirring and tossing continuously for 30 – 45 seconds, it should remain creamy do not over cook. Top with freshly gated parmesan cheese if desired before serving. Enjoy!
I had pancetta in the fridge and a friend gave me some fresh basil from her garden so I searched for a recipe that would use both and happily found this one. Simple and simply delicious.
Hi Sheila, thanks so much, so glad you enjoyed it. Take care!
This looks amazing!! Definitely going to make this recipe!!!
Hi Janet, thanks so much I hope you enjoy it.