I love pasta and like most people I like it with a delicious creamy sauce. Which of coarse translates to dreamy love handles :) I have been trying to create a healthier cream sauce. And after many failed attempts...I finally got it! The key is ricotta. When the ricotta is pureed with a touch of milk, you get an amazing, delicious, creamy and thick sauce!
This pasta dish in particular is simple with a lot of complex flavors. It uses three pork products, pancetta, prociutto and bacon! Now while the ricotta makes the sauce a bit healthier, the pork products certainly does not...however once in awhile one has to be bad :) The added sweetness from red onions balances out the dish beautifully. I still have a taste in my mouth from this incredible pasta!
Smokey Pasta with Chicken and Escarole
1 pound whole wheat rigatoni or penne pasta 2 oz Prociutto, thinly sliced 2 oz Pancetta, thinly sliced 2 oz Smoked Bacon, thinly sliced 1 red onion, thinly sliced 2 cups escarole, thinly sliced 2 scallions, sliced 1 cup of ricotta 2 tablespoons of milk 2 garlic cloves 1/2 a cup Parmesano Reggiano 1 tsp of olive oil freshly cracked black pepper
1. Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water for use later. 2. Add the tsp of olive oil to a pan and add in the prociutto, pancetta and bacon. Sautee the bacons until nice and crispy. Remove from pan. 3. Add in red onions and scallions and cook over medium heat until tender. 4. In a blender, food processor or Magic Bullet, combine the ricotta with the milk, parmesan cheese and garlic until smooth. 5. Lower the heat and add in ricotta mixture and pork products. Add pasta and escarole and toss to coat. The escarole will wilt nicely from the heat of the pasta. * If the sauce is too thick add a bit of pasta water to thin it out. 6. Serve with a few cracks of freshly cracked pepper.
Years ago, I followed my dreams and went to culinary school. I went to culinary school to continue the dream that my mother and I always shared: to open up a deli or cafe somewhere and call it our own. Whether that cafe will ever open is still up in the air...but my cooking and my love for food I owe to my mother...and in a way this blog is dedicated to her...I only hope that I can inspire other women with this blog the way my mother inspired me...With her love for food passed onto me, I quickly became a food snob after culinary school. Today, a house, a husband' (and his stomach),and an up and coming business keeps me busy enough without all my gourmet concoctions! But, no matter how busy I am, I still go to my kitchen and cook to retain my sanity. Prehaps this is a way I connect to my mother...but cooking is the only thing that truely soothes my soul. My recent transformation has led me to belive that sometimes you just have to Keep It Simple Stupid...and Cook!
I will not eat oysters. I want my food dead - not sick, not wounded - dead. ~Woody Allen
Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside. ~Mark Twain
Great food is like great sex. The more you have the more you want. ~Gael Greene
Tell me what you eat, I'll tell you who you are. ~Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
And, of course, the funniest food of all, kumquats. ~George Carlin
Avoid fruit and nuts. You are what you eat. ~Jim Davis
The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you're hungry again. ~George Miller
Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. ~Harriet van Horne
Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon. ~Doug Larson
I didn't fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian. ~Anonymous
But those aren't the flavors. That'd make too much sense. Apple and pear, according to Dr. Phil, are body types the bars are made for. Hey, I've got some advice. If you look like an apple or a pear, eat an apple or a pear! [On Dr. Phil's energy bars. ~Lewis Black