Bon Appétit Magazine: May Cover Recipe

Fettuccine with Peas, Asparagus, & Pancetta

Rating: 4 out of 5 (super tasty & fresh)

Initial Thoughts:
Seriously?! Another pasta dish so soon? Looks good but fairly unremarkable. Wonder how it will taste…

The Test:
The thing I love about most pasta dishes is the speed with which you can throw together a meal; perfect for those busy weeknights. This recipe is no exception! In fact it was so quick and easy to prepare that I would suggest having all of your ingredients prepped and ready to go beforehand.

The recipe calls for the salted pasta water to be reserved and later added to the dish along with the rest of the ingredients. I completely forgot and tossed the water. D’oh! So in order to maximize flavour I ended up using chicken stock instead, which imparted a nice taste to the pasta. I also omitted the parsley as I didn’t have any on hand and Mr. Spock wouldn’t let me cut some from his Italian parsley plant. According to him, the parsley hadn’t recovered enough from the severe thrashing it received from the tiny yet powerful hands of the kids. He’s still scarred by the herb devastation and as a result has become overprotective of his plants. Fair enough.

The Results:
Underneath the visual ordinariness of the dish on the cover of the magazine lies a knockout recipe! The pasta was light, fresh, and delicious. The asparagus cooked up perfectly (I was afraid it would be undercooked and tough) and the lemon zest brought this dish alive with a subtle tartness that paired well with the parmesan cheese and salty pancetta. Here’s a snapshot of the conversation that took place the night we ate this pasta:

Mr. Spock: “Wow – this is really good! Needs more pancetta.”
Stay-At-Home-Chef: “Wow – this is really good! Needs parsley.”
Mr. Spock: “Get over it…”
Kids: “More please!”

(For a copy of May’s cover recipe, please click here)

As part of my culinary new years resolutions, I have committed to creating each month’s cover recipe from Bon Appétit Magazine. Inspired by a New York restaurant owner who has been making the magazine’s cover recipes each month for the last 25 years, I decided to attempt to do the same while blogging about my monthly experiences along the way.

NOTE: If any of you would like to follow along with me and join in on the fun, I’d love to compare notes! So pick-up a copy of the latest issue of Bon Appétit and get cooking. Be sure to send your comments and photos to

Bon Appétit celebrates the world of great food and the pleasure of sharing it with others. Every issue invites readers into a hands-on experience, engaging them in all aspects of the epicurean lifestyle—cooking, dining, travel, entertaining, shopping and design. For more information please visit