Monday, September 18, 2017

Spaghetti with Pancetta, Peas, and Burrata Cheese

I wanted to make this dish before fall really comes, and I did it the weekend before last.  I was able to use a lot of my fresh basil and mint.  I don't use pancetta enough, and I need to change that.  There's so many brands available here, and it comes in perfect little cups for recipes, and it's cut up, etc etc. So easy to use.  After making this, I got another little package, browned it on the stove, and added it to slow cooker potato soup. (Instead of bacon.) So good!  Here in Italy, I always get pancetta that's "affumicata"- or smoked.  I don't buy "dulce"- sweet.
I love Burrata cheese- I thought I'd posted about it before, but I can't find anything.  It's like fresh mozzarella, only 10x better.  It's a ball of cheese.  It comes wrapped in fake leaves (foglia) and sitting in brine.  The outside is fresh mozzarella, and the inside is a creamy, loose, buttery cheese.  The inside of the cheese is pictured above, on the pasta.  You can eat the whole ball, but the inside is the best.  (Burro is "butter" in Italian.  This cheese is creamy and buttery).  I'll post some pics of my Burrata below this recipe.

Spaghetti with Pancetta, Peas, and Burrata Cheese
adapted from the Kitchn

10 ounces dry spaghetti
6 ounces pancetta, small dice (can use more or less)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed at room temp
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
8 ounces burrata, cut up into pieces

1.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, place the pancetta in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and most of the fat has rendered, about 10 minutes.

2.  When the water is ready, add the pasta and cook per package instructions until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta and set aside.

3.  Use slotted spoon to transfer the browned pancetta to a paper towel-lined plate. Add the oil and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the spaghetti, reserved pasta water, peas, salt, and pepper. Toss to combine and cook the pasta water thickens and forms a sauce, about 1 minute.

4.  Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the basil, mint, and red pepper flakes, if using. Top with the burrata and serve immediately.

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