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I've only made this a few times since speck is hard to find around here. You could use prosciutto, pancetta, or bacon in place of it but it just isn't the same. I have no idea where I got this from. One of my many cookbooks I am sure. If you can't find orecchiette you can use small shells or something similar. Orcchiette is my favorite pasta but thats hard to find around here too :-(.
- 2 cups peas (fresh or frozen)
- 1 lb speck, sliced thin and then cut into pieces or, cut in one hunk and diced
- 1 large potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1 lb orecchiette
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon marjoram, minced
- 1 tablespoon Italian parsley, minced
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1⁄4 cup grana padano, freshly grated
- If you use fresh peas Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a pot and add the peas; cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain the peas; reserve the cooking water and keep it boiling (if you can)for the pasta. If you use frozen peas move on to the next step.
- Place speck and potatoes in a large skillet and saute over medium heat until the potatoes are tender. There should be enough fat from the speck but if for some reason there isn't use a little olive oil.
- Meanwhile, cook the orecchiette with salt until al dente in the reserved boiling water. If you use frozen peas you can cook them with the pasta. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.
- Add the orecchiette to the potato mixture in the pan, the olive oil, marjoram, half of the parsley, and the cracked black pepper.
- Pour in enough of the reserved pasta cooking water to dilute the sauce if necessary but try not to use too much, you don't want it watered down. (I tend not to use any liquid but just leave the pasta damp when I drain it.)
- Toss to combine, adjust the salt if needed, and spoon into 4 heated bowls and top with the grana or pass at the table.