Orecchiete with Baby Kale and Pancetta

This was kind of one of those  – just wing it pasta recipes.  I find pasta is great when you don’t have much time to mess around in the kitchen.  I made this Friday night after a long day baking cupcakes for my friends wedding – and it was a delicious and fast dish!  Note – you can use all Pancetta or all Bacon for this recipe – I just used both because I had a little of each in my fridge.  Oriccehiete means ‘little ears’ in italian because the pasta is shaped this way.  I found a package at a gourmet grocers in the city – but if you can’t find – just use another smallish shaped variety.

This is my ‘sorta’ recipe that I jotted down after I made it.

 – 1 package (500g) Orecchiete Pasta
 – 4 slices of Pancetta, diced
 – 2 slices Bacon, diced
 – 1 Medium Red Onion – diced
 – 2 cloves garlic – chopped fine
 – 2 Tbsp Fresh Tarragon
 – 5-6 Medium to Small Tomatoes chopped
 – 1 Red Pepper, Diced
 – 1 small package of Baby Kale (5 oz weight)
 – 1/4-1/2 cup chicken stock
 – 1/2 cup approx reserved pasta cooking water
 – Fresh grated Parmesan Cheese
 – A Pinch of Red Hot Chili Flakes
 – Salt and Pepper to Taste
 – Olive Oil and Good Balsamic to Drizzle at the End

Bring a large salted pot of water to a boil and cook your pasta as per the package directions to Al Dente.  In a large pan – Fry up your Bacon and Pancetta.  Once they have cooked for awhile add in your onions and garlic and cook down for another few minutes.  Add in you tomatoes and red pepper and Tarragon.  Loosen up the sauce a little with a splash or two of chicken stock.  Toss in your baby Kale and let that cook down for a minute.  Thrown in your drained pasta and a little splash of the reserved pasta water to loosen up the sauce a little.  Pile in your fresh grated parmesan (as much as you like to taste) drizzle just a touch of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, chili flakes and salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately with a little more grated parm.

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