Asparagus and English Pea Pasta with Pancetta & Shrimp

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We partnered with Barilla Pasta in order to create a protein-packed dinner loaded with fresh veggies and healthy protein.

We decided to create a new dinner recipe that was something different than the same ‘ol spaghetti and meatballs. Another unique pasta to try is squid ink pasta!

We started with some springtime greens. Asparagus is at peak season as well as peas.

Cooking seasonally helps you to bring in additional flavor in a healthy way.

These two veggies added a brightness to this dish to contract against the salty pancetta. You can never go wrong with a touch of bacon in ANY recipe, right?!?

We added some shrimp to the dish as well, but feel free to omit the shellfish if you prefer, as the pasta already packs in 17g of protein (per 3.5oz portion)!

We’ve always been fans of Barilla pasta, but to be honest, we were initially hesitant to try the ProteinPLUS because we’ve tried similar products from other brands in the past and none were very good, either from a flavor or texture perspective.

Barilla’s ProteinPLUS turned out to be a delicious game changer, and our recipe with it was so tasty our friends were even begging to take home the leftovers.

Barilla ProteinPLUS pasta is a good source of lean protein from a blend of egg whites, grains, lentils and chickpeas, so it could also be a great option for vegetarians looking to bring more protein into their diet.

All of those health notes aside, we can truly tell you the pasta was scrumptious.  Now here is how to whip it up:

Asparagus and English Pea Pasta with Pancetta and Shrimp in a Lemon Tarragon Butter Sauce

Serves 8

  • 1 package of angel hair Barilla ProteinPLUS pasta

  • 1/2 pound of pancetta (or bacon)

  • 1 pound large fresh, raw shrimp

  • 10 oz Asparagus

  • 12 oz English peas

  • 3 shallots, chopped

  • Juice of 2 lemons

  • ¼ cup reserved pasta water

  • 2 tbsp fresh Tarragon

  • 4 tbsp butter

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • Olive oil drizzle, for finishing

Start prepping your vegetables by removing the woody end of the asparagus and cut into 1-2 inch pieces.

In a large pasta pot, bring salted water to boil.

Chop your pancetta into bite-sized pieces. Cook in a skillet on medium heat until the fat renders and the pancetta is cooked. Remove pancetta with a slotted spoon and let cool on a paper towel. Make sure you keep your pancetta renderings.

Blanch your peas and asparagus by cooking them in a pot of salted boiling water for 2-3 minutes until they turn bright green. Remove and cool in a bowl of ice water. This blanching process will help to maintain flavor and texture of your veggies.

In the meantime, start to boil your pasta. Add your veggies from the ice bath to the skillet with your shallots. Cook for about 4 minutes until shallots soften. Now salt and pepper your shrimp and add to the skillet. Continue to cook everything until the shrimp turns pink and makes a “c” shape. Add the butter, ¼ cup of the pasta water, fresh squeezed lemon juice and tarragon to the skillet and combine with all the other ingredients. Finally, after 6 minutes of cooking your pasta, you can drain it and combine it with the skillet ingredients. Top your dish with the chopped pancetta and enjoy!

To finish your dish, serve up a small mound of pasta in the bowls and finish with a quick drizzle of olive oil.

This recipe makes enough to feed a family PLUS would leave you leftovers (which are somehow even better the next day). Be sure to take advantage of this ibotta offer for a money savings discount on the pasta. Also, head to or this Pinterest recipe board for more cooking inspiration.  You can find Barilla ProteinPLUS and the rest of Barilla’s Better for You (BFY) product portfolio at your local Walmart.

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