Pasta Salad with Melon, Pancetta, and Ricotta Salata

Pasta Salad with Melon, Pancetta, and Ricotta Salata

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  • Prep Time


  • Total Time


  • Servings



  • 2

    oz thinly sliced pancetta (Italian bacon)

  • 4

    oz orecchiette (ear-shaped pasta)

  • Kosher salt

  • 3.5

    TBSP extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2.5

    TBSP Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar

  • 2

    cups 1 x1x¼' pieces peeled melon (any variety)

  • cup coarsely chopped fresh mint, divided

  • 1

    TBSP thinly sliced scallion

  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1

    oz ricotta salata (salted dry ricotta), shaved, or crumbled feta


Heat oven to 350°. Arrange pancetta in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake until brown and crisp, 20–25 minutes. (Alternatively, place pancetta on folded layers of paper towels on a microwave-proof plate and microwave on high until brown and crisp, about 5 minutes.) Let pancetta stand until cool enough to handle, then break into bite-size pieces. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a medium pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain pasta; run under cold water to cool. Drain and set aside. Whisk oil and vinegar in a large bowl. Add half of pancetta, cooked pasta, melon, half of mint, scallion, and red pepper flakes. Toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle remaining pancetta and mint over. Garnish with shaved ricotta salata.


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