Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Linguine With Garlic Oil and Pancetta

Mike and I had this last night and loved it. I got this recipe from Nigella Lawson's Cookbook "Nigella Bites". It's a very simple recipe that only takes about 15 minutes to make. Unfortunately, here in Yokosuka, Pancetta is hard to come by so I replaced the Pancetta with salted pork/bacon. I added some pepper while mixing with the olive oil. I bought roughly a pound of pork at the commissary because I wanted to use the other half for the Bean and Bacon soup that I'm planning on making tonight. The block came with the skin on, so I sliced the skin off and threw it in the pan while baking as it adds more juices. Some readers may be firm believers in frying bacon. The only reason why I don't fry in the pan is that it's much easier to put in the oven and not have to hover over it/make sure it's done at the same time as the pasta.
If, you are unable to find garlic-infused olive oil you can make your own. I've included a recipe for that as well (just click on the link and it will take you there). Be forwarned that the recipe for the oil takes about 2 hours so, I'd suggest making it ahead of time. The bottom instructions are from the cookbook. The top portion is just my opinion!

2 tablespoons garlic-inused olive oil
8 ounces pancetta
8 ounces linguine (about half a box)
Fresh Parsley (optional)

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil. While it's heating up, put the garlic olive in an ovenproof dish; last night I used a baking pan 12X8". Nigella uses her Le Crueset 13.5" but not all of us are so lucky! (Some of us maybe. In which case I am pea grean with envy!) Dice the rest of the pancetta and add these cubes to the oil, smooshing them about with your fingers to make sure they're equally, if lightly, coated. When the water's boiling, put the dish of garlic-oiled pancetta in the oven, then salt the boiling water and add the linquine; these should need about 10 minutes to cook. (Go by the package instructions) When the pasta's ready, drain it, reservin a scant cupful of the cooking water and take the pancetta dish out of the oven. Tip the drained linquine into the dish and toss well, adding some of the pasta-cooking water, drop by cautious drop, for lubrication as you need it. Add the parsley. Enjoy!

2 hefty servings


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