Thursday, December 1, 2011
Nov 29 Date night with The Kid at Amaya Bread Bar
Nov 30 Creamy Pasta with Brussels Sprouts and Pancetta
I had to make something that was going to be quick and easy because we had a busy Wednesday night filled with parent/teacher meeting, karate and then I had to go back out to a "thing" so I was pretty sure it would be a pasta. Before this year, we usually ate pasta at least three times a week but I realized that we have not been eating much pasta at all lately and I am missing it.
I was feeling like I was probably shooting my self in the foot by wanting to make a simple pasta out of ingredients we all love and would appear to be a no brainer because I can never forget the great cauliflower pasta incident where it all went terribly wrong. That is the day that I learned that my adventurous foodie eaters were actually not as adventurous as I thought and just because they love all the ingredients in a dish doesn't mean they are going to love them all together as a finished dish.
I have no patience for this nonsense but I was going to throw caution to the wind and do it anyway. To be honest, since Little Shack was doing his vow of silence for Free The Children he couldn't complain about it even if he didn't like it, so I was kind of taking advantage of his generous spirit. You gotta do what you gotta do to get by sometimes.
In the end, this pasta was really, really, really good and even my little silent bob was having a hard time not moaning and rhapsodizing about the deliciousness that he was shovelling into his non speaking little mouth.
Creamy Pasta with Brussels Sprouts and Pancetta
300 g brussels sprouts
2 tbls olive oil
2 cloves garlic
50g pancetta, diced small
2 tsp PC #5 Umami paste (spiced tomato/anchovy paste) (or you can do 1 tsp of anchovy paste and 1 tsp of tomato paste instead I would think)
3/4 cup evaporated milk
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
grana pandano cheese
300g pasta ( I used PC Splendido gemelli )
wash and chiffonade the brussel sprouts (I use a mandolin to get them really fine but you can slice them really thinly with a knife too) and set aside
Get a big pot of salted water boiling.
Heat a saute pan over med heat and throw in the pancetta. Cook the pancetta until it's crispy and remove it with a slotted spoon, reserving whatever fat has rendered in the pan. Add the olive oil to that and throw in the garlic, stir it around for 30 seconds and then add the brussel sprouts and stir them until they are softened. I keep going until they actually start to brown up a bit but you don't have to go that far if you don't like your brussel sprouts as sassy as I do.
Meanwhile, your water should be boiling so you can add your pasta and cook according to the package directions.
Add the Umami paste to the brussel sprouts and stir that around for a minute. Throw in the evaporated milk, add the pasta and toss to make sure everything is mixed up and the pasta is completely coated in the sauce. Taste and salt and pepper to taste. Throw in 3/4 of the pancetta, toss again and plate it up. Top with freshly grated grana padano and the rest of the crispy pancetta.