Because bacon plus Italy makes everything better…
Pancetta is Italian bacon. I’m not sure where my craving for pancetta came from earlier this week, but it had probably been brewing for a while, since I have been enjoying some Italian cooking shows on TV recently. Fabulously there is an Italian deli near to my work so one day I popped in on my way home to pick up some for my tea. I love making faux pasta with courgette and I haven’t had my spiraliser out for ages – it is really useful for quick and tasty grub which allows me to bring out all those pasta recipes of my university years. My pasta repertoire is why Cucina Ceri is called Cucina Ceri!
Pancetta is fatty. This is the exact reason I love it. Full of flavour, but natural animal fat – not something processed in a factory. As long as the meat is good quality, I do enjoy indulging! I paired the pancetta simply with some mushrooms to add another vegetable to the dish and some garlic to enhance the flavour. No need for any extra sauce since a good drizzle of olive oil and the water from the sautéed courgettes will do that for you.
If you desire you can even sprinkle a little good quality Parmesan on the top of the finished dish. I’ve recently learned that as a very hard cheese Parmesan has very little lactose – the carbohydrate in cheese which is often difficult to digest – so I like to use to add a little extra depth of flavour every now and again.
In other news I have a new camera! Progress with taking and editing the perfect picture is probably going to be a little slow, but I’m hanging in there…
Ingredients (serves 2)
- Olive oil for sautéing, and also for drizzling.
- 150g pancetta (best quality you can source / afford)
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
- 100g button mushrooms, finely sliced
- 2 courgettes, spiralised – if you don’t have a spiraliser cut into batons or rounds
- Fresh rocket
- Black pepper
- In a wok or large frying pan (sauté the garlic in a little olive oil at a low heat. You will need a fairly large pan since the raw spiralised courgettes are quite voluminous before they are cooked.
- Add the pancetta till it starts to crisp up, then the mushrooms.
- When the above is cooked, add the raw spiralised courgettes, and continually turn them around the pan with a wooden spoon, till they soften. They will leak some of their juices (mostly water) and shrink in volume don’t worry – this is the sauce! This should take about 5 mins.
- With some serving tongs, split the ‘linguini’ into 2 serving bowls, sprinkle with rocket, shaving of Parmesan, lots of black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. I particularly like using a home made lemon & rosemary infused oil for this.
Leftovers will keep in Tupperware for a future meal or work-lunch. Delicious cold.