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Posts Tagged ‘pancetta’

Spaghetti with parsley, pancetta & parmigiano

We’re never surprised at how reliable the cookbooks from River Cafe are as in general they celebrate fabulous ingredients with simple cooking methods; our favourite way to cook too. This is a rich dish and works best served in small portions as a starter.

Wine Suggestion: The richness and parmesan cry out for higher acidity in the wine. We combined this idea with the almost bacon-ny yeasty and almondy autolysis of a sparkling Trento DOC, the Ferrari Perlé Nero Riserva. Body, richness, nuttiness and freshness; a great combo with the pasta.

When choosing between Italian sparkling wines we find the Trento DOC area has a bit more body and richness than the creamier and refined Franciacorta. This is not to say that top producers like Ferrari don’t have refinement, they do in spades, but that there is a lightness and elegance to be found in Franciacorta. Too light for this dish. Both areas produce some stunning wines.

Spaghetti with parsley, pancetta & parmesan – serves 6

  • 8 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 medium red onions, finely chopped
  • 200g pancetta, finely sliced, then cut into 5mm pieces plus an extra Rose 6 thin slices (one each)
  • 400g spaghetti
  • 150g butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 dried red chilli or a good pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • olive oil
  • 120g Parmesan, grated

Gently heat the butter in a heavy-based saucepan. Add the onion and cook gently for 15-20 minutes, then add the pancetta and garlic. Turn down the heat, stir and continue to cook for a further 10 minutes. You can turn up a bit again at the end if you want the pancetta to crisp up.  Season well with salt, pepper and the dried chilli. Stir in the parsley.

Heat a small frying pan, brush with oil, and fry the slices of pancetta to crisp them. Drain on paper towels.

Cook the spaghetti in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain, but scoop out a few tablespoons of the cooking water first. Throw the spaghetti into the warm parsley mixture and toss, adding a little of the pasta water to help the sauce coat the pasta.

Serve with lots of Parmesan and a slice of pancetta on each bowl.

(Original recipe from River Cafe Green by Rose Gray & Ruth Rogers, Martin Gray, 2000.)

 

 

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Herb roast chicken

This is an easy solution for feeding a crowd and almost everyone likes roast chicken. All you need is some new potatoes or creamy mash on the side. We love the fresh tarragon with the peas but you could use mint if you prefer. The combination of the peas, shallots, herbs and pancetta really add extra depth to the chicken and lift even ordinary chickens to feast-like levels. Of course, if the budget allows, get a good, free-range one as the extra flavour is really worth it.

Wine Suggestion: As this dish is a bit richer than your standard roast chicken it demands more than most white wines can deliver. We find Pinot Noir a good choice. This time we chose the Justin Girardin Santenay 1er Clos Rousseau and the earthy flavours danced with the salty, crispy pancetta and sweet peas. The tarragon made it all the more reminiscent of holidays in France.

Herb-Roast Chicken – serves 8-10 (easily halved)

  • 200g cubetti di pancetta
  • 800g shallots, trimmed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 chickens (about 1.5kg each)
  • 500ml hot chicken stock
  • 800g peas (frozen will be fine)
  • small pack tarragon, roughly chopped

Heat oven to 190C/170C/gas 5.

Fry the pancetta gently in a heavy frying pan until crisp – if you start with a cold pan you shouldn’t need to add any oil. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the shallots to the pan and fry in the pancetta fat for 10-15 minutes or until golden and starting to soften. Tip the shallots into a very large roasting tin.

Rub the olive oil over the chickens and season well with salt and pepper, then place the chickens into the roasting tin with the shallots. Roast for about 1 hour 20 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Remove the chickens from the tin and cover with foil.

Put the roasting tin directly onto the hob and stir in the stock. Bubble for a few minutes and scrape any sticky bits off the bottom of the tin with a wooden spoon. Add the peas, pancetta and most of the tarragon to the stock and bubble for a few minutes or until the peas are cooked, then season.

Meanwhile carve the chicken into large pieces. Transfer the peas to a warm serving platter and serve the chicken on top with the rest of the tarragon sprinkled over.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food Magazine, April 2010.)

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Chicken patties with rosemary & pancetta

Try these delicious chicken patties by Nigel Slater. Some of our favourite dishes are those where a sticky caramelised crust forms in the pan. Nigel suggests some lemon wedges and a spinach salad to serve.

Wine Suggestion: a 100% Grenache red actually is the business with this dish. While we see Grenache in quite a lot of blends when on it’s own it has a lovely spice, and if not too alcoholic and jammy (it ripens to high levels if untamed) a wonderful lightness of touch with soft, velvety tannins. If you’re exceptionally lucky an old (15-20yo) Chateau Rayas would be a treat. We drank, instead, the delightful l’O du Joncier Cotes du Rhone made by Marine Roussel in Lirac; a biodynamic, wild yeast treat that both treads lightly on the earth and tastes great.

Chicken patties with rosemary & pancetta – serves 2-3

  • 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • a thick slice of butter
  • 100g cubed pancetta
  • leaves from 3 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped
  • 450g chicken mince (if you have a mincer buy some chicken thighs and mince your own)
  • groundnut oil for frying
  • 250ml chicken stock

Warm the butter over a medium heat in a large frying pan. Add the onions and cook until softened and golden. Stir in the pancetta and rosemary and cook for a few minutes or until coloured. Empty the contents of the pan into a large bowl and allow to cool a bit.

Add the chicken mince to the onion mixture, season generously with pepper and a little salt, and mix well (your hands are the best tool for this). Shape the mixture into six little burgers and set aside for about 30 minutes to rest.

Preheat the oven to 190ºC/Gas 5.

Wipe the onion pan clean with a piece of kitchen towel and put back on the heat until hot. Add a small amount of oil and brown the patties for about 3 minutes on each side, then transfer to an ovenproof dish. Pour the stock into the dish and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the patties are sizzling and the stock bubbling. Serve with some of the hot stock spooned over.

(Original recipe from The Kitchen Diaries by Nigel Slater, Fourth Estate, 2005.)

 

 

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For those who eat brussels sprouts more than once a year. This is a gem of a dish that we’ve done a few times now and an easy feature in any winter meal.

Buttered Sprouts with Pancetta – to serve 6

  • 100g cubed pancetta
  • 750g brussels sprouts
  • 400ml chicken stock
  • 25g butter

Fry the pancetta in a non-stick frying pan for about 5 minutes or until crispy. Add the sprouts and cook for another minute. Add the stock and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the sprouts are tender and the stock has reduced. Add the butter and season well but be careful with the salt, as the pancetta and stock should make this fairly salty already.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Leek & Pancetta Quiche – serves 4-6

  • 200g pancetta lardons
  • olive oil
  • 2 leeks, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tbsp double cream
  • 100g Gruyère cheese, finely grated
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley

FOR THE PASTRY:

  • 200g plain flour, plus a bit extra
  • pinch of salt
  • 100g butter, at room temperature, cubed

First make the pastry by sifting the flour and salt into a large bowl. Then using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour, lifting the mixture up and dropping it back into the bowl. Keep doing this until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs, then mix in 2-3 tbsp of cold water. Bring the mixture together and knead lightly on a floured surface until you have a smooth ball of pastry. Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill for at least 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/Gas 6.

Oil a 25cm loose-bottomed tart tin.

Roll the pastry out onto a floured work surface until about 3mm thick. Line the oiled tin with the pastry and leave some hanging over the edges, then prick the base with a fork. Chill for another 10 minutes.

Line the chilled pastry case with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans or uncooked rice. Blind bake for 10-15 minutes. Remove the beans and paper and bake for another 5-8 minutes or until golden. Trim off the excess pastry with a sharp knife.

Meanwhile, fry the pancetta in a large frying pan over a medium heat for a few minutes until coloured and almost crispy. Add the leek and sauté for 3-4 minutes until soft and cooked through. Drain to remove any excess oil.

Mix the eggs and cream together in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add three-quarters of the grated cheese, stir in the leek mixture and add the parsley. Pour the mixture into the cooked pastry case, sprinkle the top with the leftover cheese and cook for 15-20 minutes or until golden and set.

Allow the quiche to cool for a bit before serving.

Wine Suggestion: We tried a lovely Bott-Geyl Pinot d’Alsace which worked superbly. A great combination of Pinot Blanc 35%, Pinot Auxerrois 35%, Pinot Gris 15% and Pinot Noir 15% (vinified as white wine). Rich and complex but with the freshness  and texture to balance the quiche perfectly.

(Original recipe from Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course, Hodder & Stoughton, 2012.)

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So good that our friend’s David & Nicola fed this to their two-year old son Theo and he had seconds! We had trouble with the pastry, but the humid day really didn’t help. If you’re having trouble put the pastry in the fridge after bringing it together in the food processor to keep it cold, it will really help.

We served this at a French-themed dinner party where everyone brought a course and a complimentary wine to go with it. There was Quiche Lorraine for starter, leg of lamb roasted with lots of garlic and served with dauphinoise potatoes, an apple tarte tatin and some French cheeses. We are now all on a diet!

Quiche Lorraine – cuts into 8 slices

For the pastry:

  • 175g plain flour
  • 100g cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 egg yolk
For the filling:
  • 200g pancetta, sliced into cubes
  • 50g Gruyère
  • 200ml carton crème fraîche
  • 200ml double cream
  • 3 eggs, well beaten
  • pinch ground nutmeg
  1. For the pastry, put the flour, butter, egg yolk and 4tsp cold water into a food processor. Use the pulse button to process until the mixture binds. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface, gather into a smooth ball, then roll out as thinly as you can. Line a 23 x 2.5cm loose-bottomed, fluted flan tin with the pastry. Trim the edges with scissors so it sits slightly above the tin – this way it will not shrink below the level of the tin (don’t throw the trimmings away yet). Press the pastry into the flutes, lightly prick the base with a fork, then chill for 10 minutes. Put a baking sheet in the oven and heat oven to 200C/fan 189C/gas 6.
  2. Line the pastry case with foil, shiny side down, fill with dry beans and bake on the hot baking sheet for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and beans and bake for another 4-5 minutes until the pastry is pale golden. If there are any small cracks or holes use your pastry trimmings to patch them. This part can be done the day before.
  3. Heat a small frying pan and fry the pancetta for a couple of minutes. Drain off any liquid, then continue cooking until they start to colour, but aren’t crisp. Remove and drain on paper towels. Cut three quarters of the cheese into small dice and finely grate the rest. Scatter the diced cheese and pancetta over the bottom of the pastry case.
  4. Using a spoon, beat the crème fraîche to slacken it then slowly beat in the double cream. Mix in the beaten eggs. Season, but go easy on the salt, and add nutmeg. Pour three-quarters of the filling into the pastry case.
  5. Half-pull the oven shelf out and put the tin on the baking sheet. Quickly pour the rest of the mixture into the case – so you get it right up to the top. Scatter the grated cheese over the top, then carefully push the shelf back in. Lower the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden and softly set (the centre doesn’t need to be too firm). Let it settle for 4-5 minutes before removing from the tin.
Wine Suggestion: it is quite hard to match egg dishes with wine, but the addition of the cream, crème fraîche and pancetta helps. You need to balance the saltiness from the pancetta and the creamy and rich filling; so a white from Alsace with a touch of sweetness balanced by fresh acidity is a good match. We had a Clos Saint Landelin Grand Cru Vendange Tardive Riesling from 2001 – this is a late harvest wine that in most years is very sweet, but in 2001 had great fruit but ended up being just off-dry. With a beautiful balance of acidity and a mellowness from 10 years of age this worked a real treat and had layers of flavours that complimented the quiche superbly.
(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Because we had pancetta, chestnuts and parsley that needed to be used in the fridge we thought we’d try out our first festive side of the season.

The result … yum!

  • Cook 500g of brussels sprouts in boiling water for around 5 minute or until cooked.
  • Meanwhile cook 125g pancetta in a little bit of vegetable oil until bronzed and crisp.
  • Add a large knob of butter and 100g cookedchestnuts – squashing the chestnuts to break them up a bit.
  • Add 25ml Marsala and reduce to a syrup.
  • Add the drained Brussel Sprouts, toss and add some parsley and lots of black pepper.
  • Enjoy.

Credit to Nigella – recipe from Feast.

Jono

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