Tuesday, October 22, 2013

ingredient experimenting: speck

I can make (and eat) pasta until I am blue in the face, and likely I will, but it's always nice to try and change things up.

I was perusing my favorite neighborhood specialty shop, little vine, and had already grabbed fresh pasta and ricotta. As I scanned the meat case, my eyes fell on speck, an ingredient I had heard of, but never tasted or cooked with. I knew it was a pig product, but I learned that it's fattier and richer than pancetta or proscuitto.

Armed with these foods, I created a loose take on carbonara. No egg, the speck in place of the usual pancetta and ricotta in addition to grated cheese. I added frozen peas for good measure and it was perfect.

carbonara style pasta
one slice of speck, sliced about 1/3 inch thick and diced
1/3 lb of fresh pasta (I bought papardelle), you can use fresh or dried
1/2 cup full fat ricotta
1/4 cup frozen peas
salt, pepper and red pepper flakes for seasoning
pecorino cheese, grated (optional)
  • put a pot of water up to boil
  • cook speck on the stovetop until crispy, remove from pan and drain on a paper towel
  • salt the water and add pasta
  • with one minute left for pasta to cook, add peas
  • once pasta and peas are cooked, add to pan with speck, two tablespoons of pasta water, ricotta and seasonings on low heat
  • stir together and serve with grated cheese on top
serves two

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