Bring the wine and 8 cups water to a boil in a large pasta pot. Add the orecchiette and cook according to the package instructions. Drain, reserving some of the cooking liquid.
As the pasta cooks, heat a large saute pan over medium heat and brown the pancetta. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon, leaving the fat behind. Add the shallots and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the pancetta back to the pan as well as the mascarpone and 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta cooking liquid (water/wine mixture). Stir to combine into a sauce, then mix in the cooked orecchiette; season with salt and pepper. Garnish with the thyme leaves if using.
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