2 tbsp. EVOO
⅓ to 1/2 lb. meaty pancetta, finely chopped
1 large onion or 2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 large fresh bay leaf
1 cup fresh shelled peas
4 cloves garlic, chopped
½ cup white vermouth or
2 cups passata or tomato sauce
1 lb. bucatini
1 cup grated pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano
Fresh basil, torn, or tarragon, for garnish
Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta.
In a large skillet, heat the EVOO, two turns of the pan, over medium. Add the pancetta and cook until the fat renders, about 3 minutes. Add the onion and bay leaf. Cook, stirring, until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water. Cook, stirring often, until most of the water is evaporated. Add the peas and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, 1 minute. Add the vermouth and cook until it evaporates, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the pasta and reduce the heat to low. Let the sauce simmer while you cook the pasta.
Salt the water, add the pasta, and cook 1 minute less than the package directions. Reserve about 1 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta. Return pasta to the pot, then stir in the sauce from the skillet and the cheese. Toss until the pasta is coated, adding some pasta cooking water if dry.
Transfer the pasta to a platter or shallow bowls. Top with the basil.