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Posts Tagged ‘Pancetta’

Bucatini

Bucatini (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lately, if it’s not soup, it’s pasta (we call it macaroni) and you know I love to cook both.  This past weekend I made a pasta dish I’ve been wanting to try for awhile.  It calls for using a macaroni known as Bucatini.  As for as long as I’ve known, Bucatini was a long spaghetti-like strand of macaroni that was hollow in the middle.  Heavier and thicker than regular spaghetti or linguine and a macaroni that needed a sauce to stand up to it.

However, when I went shopping for this pastas, what I found was a package being marketed as Bucatini but the pieces had been cut into lengths of about 3 1/2 inches.  Mmmm I thought this is not the real thing BUT as it turns out, this cut was probably better than the long strand version.  Why? Because the sauce was a bit soupy and with those two open ends, the sauce just slithered into the piece and oh what a delightful mouthful it was.

1 lb Bucatini (cooked per directions)

1 pkg (4oz) Pancetta diced

1 pkg (4oz) Prosciutto diced

2 cups thinly sliced red onion (about 8oz onion)

1/2 tsp or + crushed red pepper

2 TBS Chianti Red Wine Vinegar

1 jar of pomodoro sauce, 24 oz ( I used Wegman’s Grandma’s Pomodoro Sauce)

1 jar of water using sauce jar

2 TBS Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Use a braising pan.

1. Add pancetta and prosciutto to pan on MEDIUM.  Cook, stirring, about 5 minutes until browned.

2. Add onion and crushed pepper.  Cook 10-12 minutes until onions are softened.  Add red wine vinegar, stirring to loosen browned bits on bottom of pan.  Add sauce and water; bring to simmer. Simmer gently 5-8 minutes.

3. Add oil.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir.  Add cooked pasta to pan and toss.

Recipe from Wegman’s MENU Magazine 

I served this dish with an Arugula Salad which proved to be the perfect complement.

 

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English: "V" icon as as symbol for v...

English: “V” icon as as symbol for vegetarianism/veganism. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m not a Vegan or a Vegetarian however sometimes I make an entire meal from garden-fresh vegetables!  This weekend turned out to be one of those inspirational meal-making events.  I found a vegan recipe for Sicilian Chickpeas with Escarole and Carmalized Onions.  Sounded intriguing and decided it would be a great side dish.  After all it had a green vegetable and also chick peas which provided the carb factor.  Of course if we were real vegans that would have been the main dish, maybe the only dish and I would be a thinner person!  But I know my husband and he might say something like “is this the whole meal” ?  So I made him two salmon burgers and myself two veggie burgers.  Not vegan and in most eyes, not even vegetarian – it was those salmon burgers that did us in….

Saturday night turned into a different kind of culinary adventure.  We were at the shore battening down the hatches so to speak as were our friends, Joe and Michael.  Hurricane Sandy was on her way to the Jersey Shore and Governor Christie declared a State of Emergency that morning so we had a lot of work to do putting furniture away, tying down covers, securing everything and anything that might become a missile!  Joe called and offered to help us in any way, good neighbor and friend.  I suggested we might meet up for breakfast on Sunday morning.  Joe said how about a pasta dinner since he had a lot of gravy.  He’s Italian and I’m Italian and if you’re Italian you know what we’re talking about.  Sounded like a plan to me BUT I had my own ideas about the kind of pasta I was going to make.

I mentioned that I thought I would make a Pancetta and Fennel Pasta, a very delicious and elegant dish.  There was a notable silence at the other end of the phone and then I heard the words, ” I don’t like pancetta, what is fennel”?  REALLY?  After a bit of back and forth and some input from Michael in the background, it was agreed that I would make the pasta, they would bring some wine and dessert!  I still wasn’t sure that Joe would like this dish and he did mention Classico sauce SO I decided to make two pasta dishes; my own Pancetta and Fennel and also a bowl of penne and pomodoro sauce.  Add an arugula, grape tomato and red onion salad and a loaf of semolina bread and we were in business.  Turns out that Joe really was kinda, sorta kidding about the Classico sauce (he claims he doesn’t really  like it).  Well, he dug right into the Pancetta and Fennel and after a couple of  helpings, he  said it was delicious!  See I told you it was good!

The recipe for the Pancetta and Fennel dish can be found in a previous blog: https://pbenjay.wordpress.com/2012/08/28/pancetta-and-fennel-pasta/

Before I give you the Sicilian Escarole recipe, I have to tell you about the bonanza of desserts.  In true Jersey fashion, we had a dozen of Dunkin’ Donuts, many festively decorated for Halloween.  I will admit to eating a Boston Creme and at least half of a jelly doughnut.  AND then we had apple cake from Freedman’s Bakery in Belmar which was SOoooo good.  Thanks guys!

Sicilian Chickpeas with Escarole and Carmalized Onions

1  large escarole (1 1/2  lbs) I used a large bag chopped escarole

1/4 cup olive oil

2 medium onions halved and sliced thinly. I used 1  large Vidalia onion thinly sliced.

2 tsp sugar –  I used 1 tsp.

1/4 cup dark raisins

3 cups drained chickpeas – reserve 1/3 cup bean liquid

Heat oil over medium heat in large  saute pan.  Add onions and stir often till golden – about 15 minutes.  Add sugar and cook another 5 minutes till dark golden brown.

Add raisins and escarole.  Stir occasionally till leaves are tender, about 6 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper

Add chickpeas and their liquid.  Simmer till flavors have blended, about 3 minutes.  Adjust seasonings.

 

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