Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Fusilli With Green Beans, Pancetta, And Parmigiano

We are a crunchy veggie type of family and this recipe totally delivers on that.  I got these lovely green beans from my Front Porch Pickings basket.  Almost the same day I got this recipe from finecooking.com.  I took it as fate and put it into my recipe queue.  Oh thank you fate!  I love this recipe for so many reasons. First of all, I love a recipe that calls for a 1/2 a box of pasta rather than the full pound or worse the 3/4 box that leaves you with a 1/4 box to take up space in the pantry. (see my insanity posts to learn about my battles with the pantry and the fridge) This is perfect in that you have enough to make the recipe again and that it is a bit light on the pasta for the traditional recipe for four. (yes it says 2-3 in the original recipe, but with a salad it is plenty for 4) I love this recipe because it is simple and allows the veggies to shine without covering them with a ton of other flavors; I love that it is delicious, simple, fast and full of pantry staples.  My husband and I eat a wide variety of things and enjoy most of them; my son is still developing his tastes but eats more variety  (even if not totally happily) than any kid I know so I wasn't surprised when he ate heartily. However, the 2 year old, is totally about control (the parents know out there know why its called the terrible twos) and she, thankfully, exerts most of her control of her food by demanding fruit and refusing carbs and green foods.  She ate almost an entire 1/4 of the dish! The whole time repeating I love green beans; I love pasta! (again parents you know all to well the repetitiveness of a two year old:)   I did serve it with a small salad but only because I can't allow myself to count as my only veggie a starchy one like green beans.  It is a favorite for sure!  I can't believe how simple the sauce is.  Only word of advice; the pancetta and the parm are very salty.  You won't need much when seasoning.

Fusilli With Green Beans, Pancetta, And Parmigiano

Kosher salt
1/2 lb fusilli or other twisted pasta (I used Whole Wheat Rotini)
4 oz pancetta,sliced 1/4 inch thick and cut into 1/2" matchsticks
1    large clove garlic,smashed and peeled
1/2 lb green beans,trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths (2 c
Freshly ground black pepper
2   Tbs. unsalted butter,at room temperature
2 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 cup)
Bring a medium pot of well-salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta
until just barely al dente, about 1 minute less than package timing.
Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, and drain the pasta.
While the pasta cooks, put the pancetta in a cold 10-inch skillet and
set over medium-high heat. When the pancetta starts sizzling, add the
garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until starting to brown, 1 minute.
Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook the pancetta until
golden but still chewy at the center (taste a piece if youre not sure),
an additional  2 to 3 minutes. If the pancetta has rendered a lot of
its fat, spoon off all but 1 Tbs. of the fat from the pan.
Add the beans to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until theyre
crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the garlic and season the beans
with salt and pepper. With the pan still over medium heat, add the
pasta, 1/2 cup of the pasta water, and the butter. Toss to combine. Add
another 1/4 cup pasta water and 3/4 cup of the Parmigiano. Stir well
and season to taste with salt and pepper. If necessary, add a little
more pasta water to loosen the sauce.
Transfer the pasta to a serving bowl. Grind black pepper over the top
and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

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