Thursday, February 24, 2011

Love at first bite

I recognize that some of you may be on recipe overload after last week's Valentine's Day dinner dissection. I sympathize with you, but I'm going to have to ask you to get over it. Would I bring you any old recipe, after all? Would I waste your time with something nondescript or forgettable? Nope. I bring you this one from the bottom of my pasta-loving heart, with all the focus of Antonia, the infectious enthusiasm of Carla, and the keeping-it-real-ness of Tiffany. This is me, sharing the love.

Another pasta dish, you whine? I"ll say it again: get over it. This recipe rocked my world. It's only right that I try to rock yours, too. This pasta dish was a revelation for me. No exaggeration there - I wanted to make out with it, in all its gooey yummy glory. This dish showcases egg pasta at its absolute best, and it highlights one of my very favorite ingredients - chestnuts - in a way that elevates every bite. It begs for red wine. It whispers sweet nothings of elegance and earthiness in your ears. It romances and nurtures, suggests slipping into something more comfortable. Make it at home for a special night in, and tell me if it doesn't lead to something special. (As of now, anyway, making out with dinner dates is less frowned-upon than making out with pasta. It's a judgmental world, what can I say?)

Egg Pasta with Chestnuts, Pancetta, and Sage
Adapted from Gourmet Today

3 ounces pancetta (Italian unsmoked bacon), chopped (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
1/2 lb bottled peeled cooked whole chestnuts, coarsely crumbled (about 1.5 cups)
1/2 lb dried egg tagliatelle or egg fettucine
1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsely

Cook pancetta in oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and 1 tablespoon sage and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in chestnuts and remove from heat.

Cook pasta in an 8-quart pot of boiling salted water (3 tablespoons salt) until al dente. Reserve 1.5 cups cooking water and drain pasta.

Add pasta to pancetta mixture in a skillet, then add 1 cup reserved cooking water, cheese, and butter and cook, tossing constantly, over high heat until pasta is well-coated (add more reserved water if necessary), about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with parsley and remaining tablespoon sage. Serve immediately.


  1. ooh another point on the side of "bacon day", in which my husband and i eat bacon for one day (possibly all day) of our normal veggie year. it hasn't happened yet but it's coming!

  2. My mouth is absolutely watering.

  3. BTW, if you had a Tweet This button on your posts I'd do it:).


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