I recently came across an Italian Deli at the local farmers’ market and have been cooking up a storm since. All the imported pancetta, prosciutto and cheeses have re-awakened my inner chef. I’ve always meant to write down my winning recipes for future reference, so here I have decided to start.
And just a note: I don’t really measure my ingredients (especially spices), so these are just my best estimate. You can adjust yours to taste.
- 1 lb. pasta (I like orecchiette for this dish, the little bowl shaped pasta holds the sauce nicely, but any kind of pasta will do.)
- olive oil
- 4 oz. pancetta, chopped
- 16 oz. can of cannellini beans or garbanzo beans, drained (the cannellini beans give this dish a creamier texture, but the garbanzo beans add a nice texture too.)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp. dried basil
- 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups diced Roma tomatoes (you can use canned or fresh)
- dry white wine
- Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
- In a large pot, bring heavily salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al-dente. Don’t cook all the way. It will finish cooking in the sauce later.
- In a large sauté pan, coat the bottom with about two turns of olive oil. Add pancetta and cook until crispy. Remove the cooked pancetta from the pan with a slotted spoon and let rest on a paper towel.
- Return the pan to the burner and add onions. Cook until translucent.
- Add garlic, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Cook just a few minutes, be careful not to burn the garlic.
- Add white wine and scrape up the brown bits off the bottom of the pan.
- Add cannellini beans, tomatoes and a few ladles of your pasta water. Stir and wait until it gets bubbly, then turn down the heat and simmer until the sauce thickens a little.
- Add the pasta, stir and cook for about 5 minutes until your pasta is tender and the sauce is thickened. Right before serving, add the pancetta back in and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.