Thursday, November 15, 2012
Apparently, I've been born without the genes that makes one enjoy stuffing. Or dressing, as the case may be. I don't know why that happened in life. But I just can't seem to like it. No matter what wonderful things go into it. Not even my gram's famous stuffing. None of it. But stuffing (or dressing) has been deemed a necessary component of the Thanksgiving feast. And I can't bring myself to make it any more, to once again be disappointed that my genetic makeup prevents me from savoring each bite of this dish. To once again, get my hopes up, to think that this one stuffing is the one I will like... then have those hopes dashed. So instead of stuffing, I like doing a pasta dish that I like to think captures a bit of the essence of stuffing. But not in stuffing form. In pasta. So here is a simple dish with brown butter, pancetta, fresh herbs, hazelnuts, and parmesan cheese. Never disappoints.
2/3 pound farfalle pasta
4 ounces cubed pancetta
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup torn sage leaves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme and/or rosemary leaves
white pepper, to taste
kosher salt, to taste
1/3 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted
juice from 1/2 a lemon
2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile,
heat olive oil over medium high heat in skillet and add the pancetta. Cook until the pancetta has a nice golden brown color (about 5 minutes). Take off heat and set aside.
In large sauté pan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add sage, thyme, and rosemary and let the butter brown, about two minutes. You will see brown specks that have formed on the bottom of the pan. Be careful to not burn the butter. Add pepper, salt and nutmeg, as well as the reserved pancetta. Sprinkle chopped and toasted hazelnuts. Take off heat and add lemon juice. Add pasta to the brown butter mixture and toss with cheese. Adjust seasonings to taste.