Thursday, December 20, 2007

Guest Post: Spaghetti with Garlic, Onions and Pancetta

My little brother cooks lots of Italian food and he's quite proud of many of his dishes. Back when he started cooking for himself, he absolutely RAVED about this pasta dish. I promised him that I would try to cook it but never did so now that I am visiting him in St. Louis, he can cook it for me! Sorry if this opening is less than stellar...I'm super frazzled cause my mom just got here and it's been a bit overwhelming!

This recipe is pretty much straight out of Molto Italiano. James also raves about Marcella Hazan's cookbooks but that's for another post.

Here we go:

First up, pictures of their refrigerator:For some reason, James and his GF were somewhat ashamed of the Hershey's chocolate syrup...not really sure why. Not a whole lot of note in this fridge.

Start boiling a large pot of water for pasta.
Mince garlic and pancetta. This represents about 1/2 of a pound of pancetta and a few cloves of garlic. The recipe calls for 2 cloves of garlic but James likes extra so he uses extra.

Next, cut up a red onion into half moons.
The assembled mis en place.
Some of you may have noticed the latex gloves James is wearing. We're not going to go there...

Also, mince about 1/4 cup of Italian parsley. Grate 3/4 cup of Pecorino-Romano cheese. Set aside until the end.

A couple of tablespoons of olive oil and the pancetta in a pan over low heat...allow the fat to render out of the pancetta:
Pancetta in a pan with a teaspoon of dried chili peppers (actually, James used a bit more than a teaspoon but a teaspoon should be sufficient):
A little later on during the cooking process:
Add the onion and garlic:
Onions will soften after 5 or so minutes:
Take the onions/pancetta off of the heat. Start cooking the pasta.
Add the cooked pasta (this is a full pack of spaghetti) and toss:
Bonus action shot!
Add the chopped parsley. Add 1/2 cup of the grated cheese. Plate up. Finished product:
Add more cheese to taste.

This was super tasty. The noodles are covered in the wildly flavorful pork fat/chili oil and the bit of sweet onion and parsley add a nice counterpoint. I like this so much that I might try to make it myself! Good work, James.