Monday, August 5, 2013

farfalle with pancetta and peas in creamy sauce

So tonight I decided to make a simple pasta dish for dinner.

I was cooking for about four people, so I was really pleased as everything could be cooked in one pot.

One thing was for sure. I was going to cook something using pancetta. I also wanted to finish the bit of farfalle I had left. I thought I would add some peas as well, since I cannot tolerate the idea of a vegetable-less dinner.

I got the pancetta started first, since they had to be fried so the fat would be rendered out. You can substitute the pancetta with bacon, or even ham. If you are using ham, you may skip this step.

All I had to do was to cut the pancetta into small pieces, and pan-fry them in a little olive oil until they turned golden brown.

In the meantime, I finely diced some onions.

In heated oil, I sauted the onions until they turned slightly brown. This should take about 5 minutes. Be sure to keep the onions moving once in a while so they do not burn.

Into the browned onions, I added low sodium chicken stock and low fat milk. Once the liquid started to boil, I added the pancetta and farfalle.

I turned the heat to medium-low, covered the pan, and simmered the pasta for about 10 minutes so it would soften.

You need to give the pasta a stir once in a while and check that the liquid had not dried up.

Once the pasta had softened, I added the peas. At this stage, if the liquid had not thickened, add the corn starch slurry and stir. The liquid should thicken immediately.

I seasoned the pasta with salt and pepper, added the lemon juice, and continued to cook for another 2 minutes and the dish was ready to be served.

A truly quick and easy meal.

Delicious, too. :)

Farfalle with Pancetta and Peas in Creamy Sauce (Serves 4)

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 cups onion, diced
225g short pasta (I used farfalle)
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 cup low-fat milk
400g pancetta, or 450g bacon or ham
1 cup frozen peas
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs corn starch, combined with 3 tbs water to form a slurry
1 tbs grated Parmesan
I tbs Italian flat-leaf parsley (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Fry pancetta in a skillet drizzled with a little olive oil until pancetta turns golden brown. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
2. Saute onions in olive oil until golden brown, about 5 mins.
3. Add chicken stock, low-fat milk, and pasta to skillet and bring to a boil. Add pancetta.
4. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until pasta is tender, about 8-10 minutes.
5. To thicken sauce, pour corn starch slurry into skillet and stir. The sauce should thicken immediately.
6. Season with salt and pepper, then stir to combine. Add peas and lemon juice to skillet and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.
7. Serve immediately, garnished with grated Parmesan and chopped flat-leaf parsley, if desired.

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