Sunday, January 9, 2022

Easy Easy Peasy (?) Pasta, With Asparagus, Pancetta, And Parm. So Fast It's Almost To Go!

Ever since the pandemic began we've stayed out of restaurants. We've always worked from home so that's no problem, we're used to that. I've always cooked most meals so I'm used to that. The big difference is now I'm cooking everything we eat, baking the bread, growing some of the vegetables.  I love cooking so that's not an issue, but what I do struggle with sometimes is fixing something  that quick, easy and fits into our daily writing schedule. 

Well, meet the dish pictured above, because it's perfect! It ticks all the boxes, fast, easy, tasty and if you work it right...leftovers!

It started when I was thinking about the various pasta shapes I was fed growing up. One of my favorites was tagliatelli. It's a pasta shape occupying the middle ground between pappardelle, and fettuccini. It's not too wide, not too narrow, but in the Goldilocks Zone of pasta it's just right.

I bought some tagliatelli the other day, and then tried to figure out what to pair it with. First move, check my larder and see what's what. Can I do this without disrupting things to go shopping? What was actually in the house besides the pasta I'd just brought home.

I had frozen peas, Parmesan cheese, some pancetta (which I always have around at holiday times) some fresh asparagus, white wine, and left over cream. Turns out that's all I needed for this dish.

Tagliatelli With Pancetta, Peas, and Asparagus

Here's what You Need:

16 oz of tagliatelli pasta

2 Tbs olive oil

1 shallot thinly sliced

1 cup of frozen peas

4 oz of chopped pancetta or bacon (it'll work with that too)

The tops of 12 asparagus spears (take an asparagus spear and bend it in half. Where it breaks at the top is the part you want.)

1/2 cup of white wine

1 cup of heavy cream

1 and 1/2 cups of grated Parmesan cheese 

ground black pepper

Here's What To Do:

Heat the oil in a pan. When the pan is hot add in the shallot.

Stir it around for a minute or so, then quickly add your pancetta or bacon.

Saute until the pancetta or bacon starts to get crispy at the edges.

Now, add the white wine.

A few minutes later add the cream and some ground pepper.

Reduce the liquid for a few minutes.

Then, add the grated cheese and continue to reduce the sauce at a low heat


 Boil your pasta in salted water. My dried tagliatelli takes 5 minutes.

Now here's where it gets a bit precise....

3 minutes before the pasta is ready toss the peas into the pasta water.

1 minute before the pasta is ready add in your asparagus pieces.

Drain the pasta and vegetables and add them to the parm sauce in the pan.

Stir everything around so the pasta is well coated and.....,.

Give each bowl a twist of ground black pepper and serve it up.

This is a basic old Italian pasta recipe, a twist on carbonara. It's sometimes prepared with mushrooms instead, I'm thinking however that almost any vegetable could be added. I would have  added some bread crumbs on top for a bit of extra crunch, but I got that idea after we were eating, so next time.

This went over very well around here. I'd put it on a dinner party rotation if we were still doing that. I'll keep it in the pandemic lunch file just in case.

Coming up next more treats  I bought a pandoro mold, and once the rain allows, I'm firing up the tandoor and cooking while there is danger of starting a conflagration. Follow along on Twitter @kathygori

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