Tagliatelle, Snap Peas, Pancetta & Chicken
This has turned into our favorite springtime pasta dish.

1 chicken breast
a handful of fresh basil leaves
6-8 tbsp. Virgin olive oil
10 very thin slices of pancetta (we often use bacon when we can’t get pancetta)
2 cloves garlic
1.5 cups sugar snap peas.
Tagliatelle for two

Serves 2.
Bone the chicken breast and remove the skin and fat. Cut chicken crosswise into very thin even slices. Cut the basil leaves into narrow ribbons and marinate with the chicken in a little of the olive oil. Unroll the pancetta slices and cut them into small sections. (Leave the bacon in full slices if you’re using it instead.)Peel and finely chop the garlic. Top & tail the snap peas, and cut each in half.

In a small pan, fry the pancetta until crisp and light brown. (If using bacon, chop roughly when it cools.) Sauté the chicken in 3 or 4 tablespoons olive oil that is hot enough to sear the meat in the first 20 or 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper, then add the peas and garlic and reduce to medium heat. Cook for another minute or two, stirring frequently. Add the pancetta and 3 or 4 more tablespoons olive oil. Cook the noodles and toss with the meat and vegetables. (If you’re using dried pasta, don’t start the sauté until the pasta is cooking in the water.) Serve garnished with more ground black pepper and freshly grated Parmesan.

Variation: Add or substitute other green vegetables: asparagus, peas, leeks, and so on.

From Chez Panisse Pasta, Pizza, & Calzone, 1984.