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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Pasta, Peas, And Pancetta

2016-05-01 17.44.35

This is a quick easy week night meal, and a great one you can serve up to guests. Let me show you how fast this dish comes together. I’m using a Fusilli pasta for this dish.

This is what pancetta (Italian bacon) looks like. I’ts similar to American bacon in that it’s cured, it is just not smoked.You can get this at the deli counter in your local grocery store. For this dish, you do not want to get it sliced, you’re going to want one thick slice about 1/2 inch thick. The deli employees will just adjust the blade on the slicer to the thickness you’re requesting. You may even be able to find pancetta already diced and packaged.

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Prep Time: 3-5 minutes
Total Cook Time: 30 minutes
Yields: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon good olive oil
1 pound of fusilli
2-1/2 ounces pancetta, 1/4 inch dice
2 cloves minced garlic
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, reserve 1/4 cup for serving
1 good size shallot, halved, and thinly sliced
1-10 ounce package frozen peas
Kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup pasta cooking liquid
1 tablespoon of finely julienned fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon of finely chopped mint leaves

Directions:
Cook pasta in a pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to the bite.  Drain reserving 1 cup of pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot.

Heat the olive oil in a medium  (10 inch) saute pan, add the pancetta and cook over medium heat for about 7 minutes. Stirring occasionally, until the pancetta is browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the crispy pancetta over to a plate, lined with paper towel. Pour off all but 1 teaspoon dripping from saute pan.

Add the sliced shallots and minced garlic to the pan,  saute about 3 minutes until tender. Toss in the thawed frozen peas, to warm through, stirring everthing together. Remove from heat. Add the crispy pancetta back in with the vegetables and stir through.

Add the pancetta vegetable mixture, 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid, 1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano, half the mint,and half the basil to the cooked pasta. Toss, adding more cooking liquid by the tablespoon if needed. Season with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Transfer to a large serving bowl. Sprinkle remaining basil and mint on top. Serve, passing additional Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

 

 

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Pasta Carbonara

2016-05-01 17.44.35

A perfect match made in heaven, are peas and pancetta. My pasta carbonara highlights those two perfectly. One of this dishes main ingredients is freshly cracked black pepper. From what I understand, many years ago, this dish got it’s name from woodcutters who made charcoal for fuel. Those men would come home dirty and black from a hard days work. Therefor the black pepper in this dish represented just that.

Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12-15 minutes

Ingredients:
2 boxes of Gemelli ( or 1 pound of spaghetti)
1 package of thawed frozen peas
1/4 pound of diced pancetta
1 finely diced shallot
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 large clove of minced garlic
1/4 cup of dry white wine (optional)
4 whole eggs plus, 1 yolk
2 cups of grated Parmesan cheese ( reserve 1/4 cup back to top serving dishes)
1 pinch of Kosher salt to taste ( handful of Kosher salt for pasta water)
3 tablespoons of fresh finely chopped flat leaf Italian parsley
1 tablespoon of fresh cracked black pepper

Directions:
First, place a 6 quart pot on the stove filled with water, and turn the heat up to medium high. This will allow time to prepare the ingredients for the dish while waiting for the water to boil.

Have ready, a whole package of thawed frozen peas in a bowl.

Dice up the pancetta and add it to a large, deep sided, and cold saute pan with olive oil. Do not turn the heat on just yet.

Next, grind up 2 cups of Parmesan cheese in a food processor. Transfer the grated cheese to a bowl and set aside. Note: reserve 1/4 cup back for adding to the top of the served dish.

In another bowl, crack 4 eggs and one egg yolk and beat them together with 1 tablespoon of fresh cracked black pepper. Measure out 1/4 cup of dry white wine, and 1 large garlic clove minced. Once all the ingredients are ready it’s time to make the dish.

Turn the large saute pan with the pancetta and olive oil on to medium heat. Start to render down the pancetta.  Throw a handful of Kosher salt into the pot with the boiling water. Add in the pasta of you choice, giving it a big stir, and follow the cooking time according to the box.

Anywhere from 7-10 minutes the pancetta should be rendered down and crispy. Transfer the pancetta to a plate line with paper towel.  Drain off all but 3 tablespoons the pancetta fat in the pan. If you don’t think you have that much, you can add a little olive oil.

This process goes fairly quickly. Pan still on medium heat, next, add in the minced garlic, diced shallot, and the wine. Using a wooden spoon, and while shallots and garlic are sauteing, scrap up all those delicious pancetta bits that are trapped in the bottom of the pan. Let that liquid bubble up for about a minute until the alcohol has cooked out.

To the pan, using one of those large colander spoons, transfer the pasta into the pan. Next, return the cooked pancetta to the pan. Make sure to coat the all pasta with the pancetta fat, wine and garlic that has remained in the pan. Note: if the pasta seems a little to dry and sticking together, add in a little olive oil to loosen it up.

At this point, add back in the crispy pancetta, along with the peas ( the heat will warm the peas through), and egg mixture. Using tongs, toss all this though, while still over the heat, until eggs are barley set. Turn the heat off, but keep the pan on the burner. Quickly add in the grated Parmesan cheese and fresh chopped parsley. Toss those ingredients through then remove from the hot burner. This dish is best served hot. Don’t forget about adding more cheese to the top of your dish!

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Pasta, Pesto, Peas, And Pecorino

2015-02-09 16.33.22

I wanted to challenge myself, and see if I could get dinner on the table in under 15 minutes. The good news is, that I did it in under twelve. First I put a large pot on the stove to get some water boiling for some #pasta. At the same time I set the oven to 425 degrees for my cheesy bread that I got in the frozen food section of the grocery store. Ok, now the oven is up to temperature, I placed the slices of cheese bread in the oven. Next I salted the boiling water and got it ready for the pasta, which only takes 8 minutes to cook. This # pasta is my favorite. It’s the closest to fresh that I’ve ever tasted.

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So now I add the pasta to the salted boiling water. While that cooking away, I have a pint of sweet mini San Marzano tomatoes that cut into half. I also have some Pecorino cheese, that I’ve grated into the bottom of a large serving bowl. The reason I do this is because when I add the hot #pasta to the bowl and toss it with the cheese, what happens is. The cheese sticks to the #pasta and the sauce, #pesto will stick to the cheese that sticks to the #pasta. Makes sense right? Trust me it works. Next take the cooked #pasta out of the pot, using tongs so you can save the pasta water, and place it over the grated Pecorino cheese. Toss that hot pasta through and let the cheese coat all of those noodles

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After the pasta’s been toss with the cheese, the hot salted water that I cooked the pasta in, add 1-1/2 cups of frozen peas right into the same water. They are just going to heat through. Next add some of that great store bought #pesto to the hot pasta and toss that through so that the #pesto coats all the noodles. Using a strainer type spoon, grab all those peas out from the pasta water and add those right in with the dressed pasta. Once all the ingredients have been tossed through really well, I add some more of that delicious Pecorino cheese over the top. To finish, remember those San Marzano tomatoes that I halved earlier, well I just place them all around the outside, for color and that burst of sweetness. Oh yes, the bread, you can forget the bread. Pull that out of the oven after about 10 minutes. Dinner is ready, and in under 12 minutes.

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Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 0
Cooking Time: 8-10 minutes
Oven Temp: For bread, 425 degerees
Pasta Cooking Time: 8 minutes

Ingredients:
Pasta 1 package of Flora Parppardelle
1-8 ounce container of fresh basil pesto ( in the refrigerated section)
1 pint of sweet San Marzano tomatoes ( cherry tomatoes are fine)
1 cup of grated Pecorino
1/2 cup of shredded Pecorino for the top
1 package for frozen cheesy bread

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees for the bread. While the pasta is cooking, halve the tomatoes and great the cheese. Open the container of fresh pesto and have it on stand- by. Place the grated cheese in the bottom of the serving bowl. Place the hot pasta on top and toss it through. Place the frozen peas into the hot pasta water. Next add the pesto to the pasta and toss that through. Pull the peas out of the water and toss those through the pesto coated pasta. Lay the tomatoes all around the outside. Finish with the halved tomatoes around the outside. Pull the bread out of the oven, and dinner is ready.

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