1 lb English peas (sugar snaps can also work, but make sure
2 oz pancetta (roughly a 1/4 inch slice), cut into strips or chunks
1 shallot, minced
A few sprigs of thyme, finely chopped
3/4 lb pasta (Orecchiette work well. Ditto for fusilli or farfalle or even fettuccine.)
2 Tb butter
Shell the peas. This is the only time-consuming step. Everything else can be done in less time than it takes to cook the pasta.
Place the pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water.
Brown the pancetta in some olive oil in a pan set over medium heat.
Add the butter to the pan. When the foaming subsides, add the minced shallots and cook until translucent.
Add the peas, thyme, and a pinch of salt to the pan. Cook a few minutes, until peas are just tender. Remove from the heat.
When the pasta is al dente, return the pan to the heat. Drain the pasta, toss it quickly in the pan to coat in the sauce, and add grated parmesan. Serve immediately with more cheese on the side for sprinkling.