Sunday, February 15, 2009

Pasta with Spinach and Pancetta

I had a 10 oz. bag of spinach that needed to be used up, but was neither in moo-mode enough for Bittman's "Fettucini with Spinach, Butter and Cream," nor feeling sufficiently salt-licky for "Pasta with Spinach, Garlic and Capers" (courtesy of Aaron, who taught me how to make it during a cook-for-Obama event - recipe coming at some future point). So, clearly, this called for a bipartisan compromise that would hopefully combine the richness of the first with the stimulative properties of the second.

NOTE (24 Feb.): Dish tastes fine, but seems a bit thin. Next time, I may either increase the amount of spinach to 1 lb. or decrease the amount of pasta to 3/4 lb. And there's always the more pancetta route.

  • 1 lb. pasta (I used whole wheat linguini this time)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil, more if needed
  • 1.5 oz pancetta (wanted 3-4 oz, but that's all I had easy access to)
  • about 1/4 cup garlic (half a head or so), cut into dimes
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 10 oz. spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more to pass around

In a large skillet or pot, render pancetta in a small amount of olive oil over medium-low heat till brown and crispy (around 10 mins.). Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Augment pancetta juice with olive oil if needed. Add onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Saute over medium heat till onion is soft but not translucent, about 2-4 min.

Add spinach. Lower heat, cover and cook till spinach is tender (about 10 min).

Meanwhile, generously salt a pot of water and bring it to a boil. Cook pasta according to package instructions, then drain.

Add pasta to spinach mixture along with grated cheese and a bit more olive oil, if necessary; mix and correct seasoning. Garnish with pancetta and serve with more grated Parmesan.

No comments:

Post a Comment