Friday, July 12, 2013

A recipe and a reflection

First a recipe, then a reflection. I cooked this last week, so I'm a bit behind in sharing. I served this dish with a grilled flank steak. The meat broke up the semi-heaviness of the pasta. Oh and let me toot my own horn because snap peas are now in season.....so I gave myself a little pat on the back for "cooking seasonally." Woot. Anyway, here we go

Pasta with Pancetta, Snap Peas, Mint and Cream (adapted from food52.com)
Ingredients:
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 lb pancetta
4 shallots, minced
1 pint cream
1/2 C freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 lb fresh snap peas, whole, chopped
1/2 C fresh mint, chopped
salt and fresh ground pepper
1 box orechiette pasta (I used bow tie pasta, and it was fine)

Directions:

  • In a heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and cook the garlic for 2-3 minutes until just beginning to color.
  • Add the pancetta and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the shallots and cook for 3-4 minutes to soften, and season with a pinch or two of salt and a turn or two of fresh black pepper.
  • Meanwhile, bring your pasta water to a boil, salt it, and add your pasta. You will want to time the pasta to be finished just as the sauce is finishing so that the cream doesn't sit long.
  • With about 3 minutes left on your pasta, add the peas and cook for 2 minutes. We want them to retain their crunch. With one minute remaining, add the cream and quickly bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add the cheese, stir, and reduce the heat to low.
  • Drain the pasta, and toss with the sauce to coat. Sprinkle liberally with fresh mint, and serve with black pepper and extra Parmesan cheese.

My pictorial progression:




The original recipe from food52 called for thick prosciutto, but I knew my Giant didn't carry that, and I wasn't really in the mood to go search for it. Pancetta worked just fine. I'll tell you, this dish only got better the next day too. My husband and I can attest to that because we enjoyed it for lunch the following two days.

And now to a reflection. Last weekend I met up with two old friends. Old meaning I've known them since basically birth (but I guess we are getting oldER.....I turn 32 on Monday. I had nearly forgotten until my Mom reminded me today. Thank you Mom.). These old friends and I share a hometown, an elementary, middle, and high school, mutual friends, life experiences, and memories. We're all married now, and both of these old, but good, friends have children. It's really amazing that we've known each other and cared for each other through it all. Old friends really are the best. It had been a few months since we'd all seen each other, but it felt like it'd had been only a day. We so simply fell right back into our candor and conversation. It was wonderful and felt safe. I just love these women, and you know who you are!

Happy weekend.