Thursday, June 3, 2010

Whole wheat pasta with crispy pancetta

Pasta is one of my favorite things to make.  If you can resist the desire to smother it with sauce, a little creativity can make you look like a freaking badass.  The really nice thing about this and some of the other pasta dishes I like to make is that if you take a little time, and do the prep work, you can put things into small containers and make a variety of different pasta dishes over the course of a couple of days - effectively making your own series of heat and eat meals!

Whole wheat pasta - I like it for the nutty taste, prepared according to package instructions
Asparagus - cut into bite sized pieces, and lightly boiled (2-3 min, to where it's still crunchy/firm)
1 can white beans drained and rinsed
olive oil - I like extra virgin for the taste
truffle oil
pancetta - don't ask me how much, if it's bacon or bacon- like, I always add too much.
diced tomato
minced garlic

Prepare the pasta, drain and return it to the pan that was used to cook it.  In a separate pan heat olive oil - add garlic and sauté until garlic becomes fragrant and slightly soft.  Add diced tomatoes and warm through, add asparagus as well, remove from heat

Add cooked pasta to the tomato mixture until you're happy with the ratio of pasta to tomatos.  Add asparagus and white beans and drizzle a bit of truffle oil over it.

Warm a clean pan -  carefully lay out pancetta and cook (like super thin bacon) until crisp.  Add crispy panchetta on top of your pasta mix either in individual bowls or in a main serving platter.

There are so many alternatives to this dish - for vegetarians, you could skip the pancetta for example.
Using the pasta and sautéed garlic you could add diced or shredded chicken instead
For a twist on carbonara - scramble an egg, chop it up and and bacon.
Feeling lazy?  How about a can of tuna, some celery and a spoon full of home made mayo?

Using the pasta as a base and mixing in numerous other ingredients makes for quick healthy options anyone can assemble.

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