Sunday, 29 August 2010

Winter Greens and Pancetta Fettuccine

Last night I had a friend over for dinner. I debated long and hard over what to cook, and, having decided on Donna Hay's Molten Chocolate Puddings for dessert (I love chocolate, I love pudding, and I need to make pudding while the thermometer's low!), finally arrived at the decision to make Winter Greens and Pancetta Fettuccine.

For some reason, I often pass over my extensive Donna Hay collection of cookbooks (below, left hand side) in favour for my Australian Women's Weekly ones (below, right). I own Instant Entertaining, No Time to Cook, and the entire Simple Essentials range - Chocolate; Salads + Vegetables; Pasta, Rice + Noodles; Chicken; Fruit; Beef, Lamb + Pork; as well as Christmas, which is not strictly in the same range of cookbooks, but is in the same format and with the same cute presentation. Of the AWW ones, I own Cook; Bake; Kitchen; and The Complete Cook.

All I can think of is that the presentation shown in the Donna Hay ones intimidates me, and makes me assume that the recipe is going to be complicated and take a lot of time.

How wrong I am. And I should know that. I have cooked no fewer than three menus from Instant Entertaining, and none of it was difficult, and most of it was quick. But my brain won't listen!

Last night, I delved into Winter Greens and Pancetta Fettuccine. I did make two small and probably fairly irrelevant alterations to it though - firstly, I made it with spaghetti (because I was originally going to make a different recipe which called for spaghetti, and obviously the need for spaghetti, not fettuccine, lodged itself in my brain when I went to the supermarket); and secondly, I used baby spinach instead of silverbeet/Swiss chard (because I was fed far too much silverbeet as a kid. It ran rampant in our backyard and we ate it nearly every single damned night in winter. Adults may like it okay, but kids don't, especially not when you get it every night, and I'm scarred enough to have not ventured into silverbeet territory since).

400g fettuccine pasta
30g butter
1tsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 brown onion, chopped
1tbsp thyme leaves
1 bunch silverbeet (Swiss chard), trimmed and chopped
1/2c chicken stock
2tbsp finely grated lemon rind
sea salt and bracked black pepper
12 slices pancetta, grilled
finely grated parmesan cheese, to serve

1. Cook pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain and keep warm.
2. Heat a large non-stick frypan over high heat. Add butter, oil, garlic, onion and thyme and cook for 2 mins
3. Add silverbeet and toss for 1 min or until just starting to wilt
4. Pour in stock, cover and cook 4-5 mins or until silverbeet is wilted and cooked through*
5. Stir in the lemon rind, salt and pepper. Add the silverbeet mixture to the pasta and toss to combine
6. Serve topped with pancetta and parmesan

If you're really coordinated you'll be able to cook the onion, spinach etc. while the pasta is cooking. I cooked the pancetta before everything else, which put a bit of that flavour through the rest of it, and then, after tipping the mixture into the pasta, quickly re-heated the pancetta in the frypan.

Quick, simple and delicious! (And you could maybe substitute the butter for more oil for a lighter finish)

*note that when using baby spinach, the cooking process is much shorter

1 comment:

  1. Hey :)
    I think it would be in the public's best interest if you also post the recipe for the molten chocolate puddings! And if you have to make them again to photograph, I will accept all blame for any additional calories you may encounter.
    On behalf of the people, I say thank you.
    Sara :)


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