Thursday, February 14, 2008

Tagliatelle with parsnips and pancetta

I saw Jamie Oliver make a dish like this on one of his shows a couple of years ago. He used a vegetable peeler to shave the parsnips into ribbons, making them blend into the pasta really well. Parsnips have a really distinct flavor and can be overpowering if you just cut it into thick chunks, as you would if you were roasting them. This allows them to work as an accent in this dish instead of overpowering everything else.

-pasta (any wide noodle will do....the picture above is about 1/3 lb of fresh tagliatelle)
-parsnips (about 1 per serving)
-pancetta (sliced thin, about 4-5 slices per serving)
-rosemary (about 1 small sprig per serving)
-parmesan cheese
-olive oil
Optional(butter, cream)

Cut the pancetta crosswise into strips about 1 cm wide and shave the parsnips into long strips (like noodles) with a vegetable peeler. Saute over med hi heat with rosemary and olive oil until the pancetta begins to crisp and the parsnips start to brown.

If you are using dried pasta, you can start the pasta and then cook the pancetta and parsnips. If you are using fresh pasta, which only take a minute or two to cook, just drop the pasta when the pancetta and parsnips are done cooking.

Add the cooked pasta to the pan with the pancetta and parsnips, add freshly grated parmessan to taste and cook together for a minute or two.

An optional variation of this dish is two add a little bit of a cream sauce. To do this combine about 1/4 cup cream and couple tablespoons of butter in a small sauce pan. Heat this up over medium heat and grate in a bunch of parmessan cheese. Stir together and toss with the pasta.

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