1. Bring milk up to hot and steamy. Whisk in grated white American cheese until melted and smooth.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Make sure you have enough water that your peas are not crowded. Blanch peas in boiling water until they have a smooth texture, not crunchy, fully cooked.
3. While peas are cooking, prepare an ice bath. When peas are blanched, strain and place in ice bath.
4. Cook the pancetta: crisp in a pan with 1 tbsp. of oil until crispy, stir frequently, set aside.
5. Prepare the pasta: Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil, season with salt until it’s salty like the sea, and cook pasta according to package directions.
6. Prepare the breadcrumbs: In a large skillet-- toast panko in the olive oil, stir in the herb, and let cool to room temp and set aside for topping.
7. Assemble the pasta: Turn the oven to broil.
• To begin the assembly start with cheese sauce in a large pot. Heat on low.
• Stir in room temperature pasta
• Add crispy pancetta and stir until hot throughout
• Add peas
• Pour pasta and cheese mixture in an oven safe container
• Top with bread crumbs and shredded fontina.
• Brown in the oven on broil until crispy and golden.
- 3 Lbs. Barilla Medium shells
- 1 Gallon Whole Milk
- 12 Oz Pancetta, small dice
- 12 oz. local peas (Pink Lady or White Acre work well)
- 3.5 Lbs. White American Cheese, Grated
- 2 Cups Panko, toasted
- 2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive OIl
- 1 Tbsp. Fresh Oregano, chopped
- Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
Chef Recommended Cuts
- Medium Shells