Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Not Carbonara, but Delicious Pasta

Not Spaghetti Carbonara, but it has Pancetta

Prep time: as long as it takes to boil the water in a large Dutch oven (about 10 minutes)
Cooking time: 8 minutes

Serves 4

½ box (4-5oz/113-140g) Multigrain Spaghetti (or whatever you happen to have handy)
4oz/113g pancetta, thinly sliced & finely chopped
2-3 sun dried tomatoes (I like the ones in oil), sliced
1 cup cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
3 cups or so baby spinach leaves
½ cup Asiago Cheese, coarsely grated
½ cup Parmesan Cheese, coarsely grated
Pinch of red chili pepper flakes (or as much as you prefer)
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

1. Boil salted water in a large Dutch oven and add spaghetti. Cook until al dente – about 8 minutes.

2. While the water is coming to a boil, heat a heavy bottomed skillet over high heat and fry the pancetta until crispy. There will be quite a bit of oil in the pan, so there’s no need to add olive oil. At this point, sauté the mushrooms for 2-3 minutes, lower the heat to medium and add the garlic. Toss for a minute or two and add the sun dried tomatoes. Cook for another minute or so.

3. Just before the pasta is al dente, add the baby spinach to the pancetta mushroom mixture and toss until it wilts. Using tongs, remove the pasta from the water and add to the mixture. Don’t worry about the little bit of water that travels with it. It will keep the sauce from drying out too much.

4. Place the tossed pasta into a large serving dish and add the cheeses. Toss, sprinkle with a little chili pepper flakes and drizzle of olive oil and serve.

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