To use up those remaining peas, there’s nothing — literally nothing — better than linguine with pancetta, peas, and mint. Older peas and the robust flavors of mature mint marry better than the sprightly young things of spring with the aromatic, porculent, chewy bits of pancetta.
And literally nothing better to go with than William Rose Wines’ Prohibition Rose, the rosé hit of the summer around these parts. First, if you haven’t yet spent half your summer salary on dry rosé, I urge you to do so. It’s time to get with the program and stop drinking Pinot Gris. Period.
Second, you can’t go wrong with Prohibition Rose, if you can get your hands on it, and do ask for it at local stores. It’s a blend of southern Oregon Merlot, Syrah, and Grenache, which mindbogglingly might make it harder to get on the shelves because of the Eugene consumer obsession with Pinot everything. But you’ll be missing out if you spend your hard-earned cash on our popular, boneless WV whites. And honestly, this year the shine is off even Provençal and Spanish rosés for me, which I love, with Prohibition Rose around.
It has the vivid color of sockeye salmon and all the delicious strawberries and raspberries and good acid structure of its southern French cousins, but a fuller and dare I say wilder body. It’s a big girl and not at all sweet, and we like it that way.
Anyway, distracted there for a moment. Back to the pasta.
Buy some of the freshest pancetta you can find, which very well might be the rolled specimens from Salumi in the cheese case at the 29th/Willamette Market of Choice.
Start a pot of boiling water for some fresh Pasta Plus (our local pasta company) linguine, and as that’s progressing, shell your peas and chop up a few handfuls of mint and chives from the garden.
Next, heat a little oil in a deep skillet and fry up as much pancetta as you dare over medium heat, being very careful not to burn it. Add lots of freshly ground black pepper.
When the water boils, throw in the pasta for a few minutes ’til al dente, then quickly add the peas to the pancetta, stir for about 30 seconds, and transfer the pasta from the pot directly into the skillet.
Add a good spoonful of pasta water, toss the pasta, and remove from the heat.
Last, add your torn mint and chives, plate, and garnish with a mound of pecorino cheese.
Oh, and one more thing about William Rose. The newly released dry riesling. It is no joke. Buy it up immediately (but wait until after I get a case). It’s one of winemaker Mark Nicholl’s absolute favorite wine varietals, and that shows. Read up on William Rose here, or come to this Saturday’s Bite of Eugene, where he’ll be a judge for the Iron Chef competition, so you can bother him personally. And what’s up with future plans for the label? Will there be a home sweet home in its future? Ask him!