This über easy and dee-lish recipe comes from that British diva of domestic goddesses, Nigella Lawson. She unabashedly cooks and eats with gusto, and does indeed have some fantastic ideas in the kitchen. I love, love, love it when she’s cooking for herself, making exactly what she wants – and then proceeding to eat it, exactly how she wants – with no apologies!
Un minuto/wait a minute, per favore…. for what this would cost, even though it does involve some meat… it’s just on the border of being in cucina povera country. I mean, seriously…. three, count ’em only three ingredients for a world of taste AND involving my fave pasta. I’m sooooo in!!! Oh… and the parsley at the end, according to Nigella, is truly optional. The hit of green freshness would of course be welcome not only visually, but also for the taste. If preferred, give it a different shot of green by using something like a handful of peas from the freezer…. or even better – what I call my ‘fave nutritional weapon’ … a handful of baby arugula or spinach, just tossed in at the end.
What matters most in this briefest and easiest, yet tastiest of recipes is the type of pasta you use. Any recipe with so few ingredients demands that they be of high quality. Go with a brand made of durum wheat, preferably from Italy. Use Barilla or De Cecco and follow the timing on the package. You’ll never, ever be disappointed.
Linguine with Garlic Oil & Pancetta
If you don’t have garlic infused oil, lightly crush 2 – 4 cloves of garlic (depending on how much you like!) and add it whole to the pan to cook with the pancetta – remove it before tossing with the pasta. There are so many reasons I love this recipe, number one being linguine is my most fave from the pasta family! There’s just something so satisfying about biting through that loaded forkful of perfect tooth-i-ness. Texture in food is everything. It’s like eating pizza… not to be done with a knife and fork, but picked up and bitten into. Makes 2 servings.
2 tbsp garlic infused olive oil
4 oz pancetta, diced
250 gr or 1/2 packet good quality linguine
*optional: some chopped parsley, a handful of peas, baby arugula or spinach
Preheat the oven to 450º
To cook the pasta, fill a large saucepan with water, cover and bring to the boil.
In the meantime, put the garlic infused oil and the pancetta in a shallow ovenproof dish, large enough to accommodate the cooked pasta. Pop in the oven to cook the pancetta and render the fat – you want as much bacony juices as possible! Depending on the thickness of your pan and heat of your oven, it should take 10 – 15 minutes. If it’s ready much before the pasta, turn the oven down to about 300º and leave it there. (You want the pan hot when you add the pasta!)
When your timer goes for the pasta, drain it, reserving about a half cup of the pasta water. Add the drained linguine to the dish with the pancetta, tossing well – either with tongs, or two large heat proof utensils. Add drops of the pasta water as necessary, if it still seems dry, give it a splash of extra virgin olive oil. If you’re adding ‘some green’ now is the time to do it – but hold the cheese. If Nigella likes it without, who are we to argue! Don’t forget to top with a few
grinds of black pepper and get twirling! Buon appetito~