My Love For Morning News

I have been a Today Show viewer since I was eight years old. I have always been a news junkie, but something was calming about getting my news, pop culture, and fashion advice all in the hour before I had to go to school, work, or start my day. It is a running joke with my family and friends about my slight obsession with the Today Show.
I have been to NYC a handful of times and every time we go I have to stop by Rockafeller Center to see where my favorite show tapes. One lucky day, I was that fan who got to talk to Matt Lauer on air — except I was 15, had a huge crush and, um, forgot to talk. My big national news debut was me nodding yes.
While on the treadmill this past week, Giada was showcasing her new cookbook and I just happened to have everything on hand to try this spring pasta dish. It had pancetta and three kinds of peas. How could I go wrong? I have to say Giada did not disappoint. Plus it made enough for leftovers for lunch the next day.
Wagon Wheel Pasta with Pancetta and Peas
by Giada De Laurentiis
1 pound wagon wheel-shaped pasta (rotelle)
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces pancetta, finely diced (about 2 1/2 cups)
2 large or 4 small shallots, chopped
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups (5 ounces) sugar snap peas, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups (9 ounces) shelled edamame beans
1 cup frozen petite peas, thawed
1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring frequently, until golden and crisp, about 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pancetta and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
  3. Add the shallots to the pan and cook until soft, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the broth and scrape up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Stir in the snap peas and simmer for 2 minutes until tender.
  4. Add the pasta, cooked pancetta, edamame peas, petite peas, parmesan cheese, the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, the salt, pepper and mint leaves. Toss until coated, adding the reserved pasta water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to loosen the sauce. Transfer to a large bowl and serve.
—Kim Fletcher, Parenting Program Volunteer

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