Gordon Ramsay's 10-Minute Pasta Is the Trending Dish of Spring

Gordon Ramsay + Pasta

Gordon Ramsay is no stranger to cooking on the fly and those skills are in full effect in his most recent Next Level Kitchen video, where the celebrity chef walks us through his latest recipe—a fresh and hearty spring pasta that’s ready in just 10 minutes. Pancetta and Fresno chili amp the flavor, and lots of herbs and lemon zest add the spring vibes. But there’s a notable ingredient that takes this dish to the next level.

For this springtime pasta dish, Ramsay includes ingredients like peas, chives, basil and parsley, which are seasonal staples, though not always in pasta dishes. But what really has some social media commenters in a tizzy is Ramsay’s use of romaine lettuce. Grilled romaine (or even wilted romaine) isn’t a new concept (and it's delicious), but not everyone is familiar with cooked lettuce. One video commenter noted, “literally the first time I've seen pasta with lettuce. I literally can't believe it could be good, but I will…try this because I…love trying new food ideas.”

As Ramsay explains in the video, he was inspired to use romaine from his time working in France, where fresh peas finished with bacon and lettuce were common. He thinks this green is “better tasting than fresh spinach. It sort of gives a really nice lightness to the pasta.” Here's what you need to know about this must-make weeknight dinner.

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How Do You Make Gordon Ramsay's 10-Minute Spring Pasta?

Ramsay starts with 10 minutes on the clock and a boiling pot of pasta water on the stove. He drops the spaghetti in the water to cook for 8 1/2 minutes and then starts on the sauce. To make the sauce, he sautés chopped pancetta in a large skillet to render the fat before adding a bit of grapeseed oil, salt and pepper. Some sliced garlic gets a quick toss with the panetta before adding some sliced Fresno chilies.

To make the sauce, Ramsay add some frozen peas, a little more butter, then a generous amount of three different roughly chopped herbs, chives, parsely and basil. After the herbs cook down a bit, he adds some vegetable stock, a little more butter and a bit of the pasta cooking water.

Once the sauce has come together, in goes the pasta. Ramsay likes to add the pasta in batches, straight from the pot using tongs. He wants some water clinging to the pasta to help thicken the sauce and suggests not adding all the pasta at once to make sure you can easily toss the pasta with the sauce and get it coated evenly. At the very end, he turns off the heat and tosses in the roughly chopped romaine before adding some lemon zest, a squeeze of lemon juice and some freshly grated Parmesan.

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Two heads of romaine lettuce<p>iStock</p>
Two heads of romaine lettuce


What Ingredient Makes this Pasta Shine?

The romaine may be new to some readers, but Ramsay says there's another star ingredient in this recipe: pasta water. It’s used in the “final dish because that is where the magic is. It’s the starch from the pasta that helps thicken the sauce,” he says. He also notes that while the pancetta can be omitted, the romaine gives the pasta its “vibrancy.” So don’t swap it out.

What’s great about this pasta is that romaine lettuce is in season (so the prices aren’t high) and it’s a refreshing alternative to spinach or kale. Plus, most of the ingredients are already pantry staples, so if you’re looking for a quick spring dinner recipe, give this one a try.

Related: How to Make Creamy Lemon Pasta Without Any Cream