Friday, August 05, 2005

First indication that I may have to give up my pretentious, citified Ontario tastes ...

Went food shopping yesterday, as mentioned in my previous entry ... while we ended up doing pot roast, that wasn't the original plan. I make a pasta that Kristen loves with simply garlic, pancetta and parmesan cheese; for our first home-cooked meal at my new place, I thought that might be a nice start. The problem came when I went looking for pancetta, which is simply Italian-style bacon (but oh so much better than regular bacon!).

KID AT DOMINION DELI COUNTER: Hi there sir, can I help you?
ME: Yes, do you have any pancetta?
KID: Yes, of course. (walks briskly out from behind counter to cheese aisle, and stands staring at the cheeses) Now, where is it?
ME: Umm ....

And of course I didn't quite have the heart to tell the kid that you're probably not going to find cured pork in the cheese section. He was very apologetic, swearing up and down that he'd seen it there just the previous day. Which makes me wish I knew just what kind of cheese he had in mind.

Not to worry though, I found the necessary ingredient at Sobey's this afternoon. Along with a whole whack 'o fish products -- I grabbed cod fillets, salmon, crabmeat and shrimp and am going to attempt seafood chowder tomorrow night. Wish me luck.

And for those who would like to try this at home ...


olive oil
chili flakes
1 anchovy fillet
1/2 onion (red or vidalia, ideally), diced
3-6 garlic cloves (as per your tastes), halved and crushed with the side of a knife
3/4 cup grated parmesan reggiano (do not use the Kraft stuff)
grape tomatoes, halved
basalmic vinegar

Slice up the pancetta however you prefer; I like to have about half chopped very small so as to render better, and half in larger pieces so you get hunks of it in the pasta. Render it down until crispy in olive oil, then add the anchovy fillet. For those turning up their noses at this point, don't worry -- it dissolves away, leaving only a hint of taste behind. add the onion and garlic. Sautee until onion is golden.

While you're doing this, have a pot on the boil. When you reach the stage of golden onions, add the spaghettini to heavily salted water. It should only take 4-5 minutes. Remove while slightly underdone and add directly to the ingredients in the skillet. Add about half a ladle-full of pasta water. Now add the grape tomatoes and the parmesan cheese. Toss everything together until the cheese and sauce is evenly distributed through the pasta. Add basil to garnish and drizzle with basalmic vinegar just before serving. Best enjoyed with very cold, very dry white wine.


FanglyFish said...

Screw the Fancy Italian Bacon!! Bring on the picked wieners!!!

Chris in NF said...

well fanglyfish, if you ever want to visit I'll make a point of picking up some pickled wieners for you ...

And in other news, how is Morgan doing?????

syl said...

mmmm i'm definitely trying that pasta soon....delicious