- PASTA WITH LEEKS AND PANCETTA AMERICANA
- ORGANIC LA QUERCIA PANCETTA AND TOMATO SANDWICHES
- ROASTED BRUSSEL SPROUTS WITH LA QUERCIA PANCETTA
- ROASTED WINTER SQUASH WITH PANCETTA
- SQUASH SQUARED
- CHESTNUT AND CELERY ROOT SOUP WITH LA QUERCIA PANCETTA
- ZUCCHINE AL FORNO CON LA QUERCIA PANCETTA AMERICANA
- RED PEAS IN CHICKEN AND LA QUERCIA SMOKED PANCETTA OR SPECK STOCK
- LA QUERCIA PANCETTA WRAPPED GREEN ONIONS
- CHEESE SOUFFLE WITH LA QUERCIA TAMWORTH SMOKED PANCETTA AND PIMENTO DE LA VERA PICANTE
- SOFFRITTO OR MIREPOIX
PASTA WITH LEEKS AND PANCETTA AMERICANA
This pasta dish makes a great late-night supper. To round out the meal, heat up a small loaf of bread or some rolls and serve with a leafy green salad, pan- cooked spinach, or blanched fresh asparagus.
Place one cup medium-diced leek (white and pale green portions only) in a frying pan with 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or a blend of sweet butter and olive oil) and cook over medium heat until softened but not browned. Add ¼ cup finely diced pancetta Americana, raise the heat slightly and cook until some bits are turning golden. Do not overcook! Cook 1/2 pound good pasta (tagliatelle, spaghetti or spaghettini -- any shape is fine!) until al dente, drain, and mix with leek and pancetta mixture. Add 1/2 cup freshly grated parmigiano reggiano and a grinding of coarse black pepper. Serve immediately. This recipe is almost infinitely expandable and adjustable. Serves two.
ORGANIC LA QUERCIA PANCETTA AND TOMATO SANDWICHES
- Roma tomatoes, dried oregano, salt, olive oil, bread, pancetta
- 1 dozen Roma tomatoes, halved
- Dried oregano, a pinch per half
- Salt, preferably Malden natural sea salt – a pinch per half
- Extra Virgin Olive oil – about 2 teaspoons
- ½ pound of La Quercia Pancetta Americana—Green Label
- Place tomatoes in a shallow baking dish, sprinkle with oregano and salt, drizzle with olive oil and bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit until somewhat browned and shrunken, about 90 minutes.
- When slightly cooled, cut or chop coarsely and adjust seasoning to taste. Add ½ cup chopped flat leaf parsley. Slice Organic La Quercia Pancetta Americana—Green label around 1/16th of an inch thick and cut each slice into thirds. Broil until barely golden and crisped.
- Heat a loaf of good quality ciabatta for 10 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Slice loaf horizontally into two roughly equal pieces and drizzle each half with olive oil
- Top bread with tomatoes and parsley and distribute the pancetta evenly over all. Serve at room temperature.
They're even good the next day, slightly heated. We call it PPP for pancetta, pane (bread), and pomodoro (tomato). It's a little like bruschetta, and a little like pan tomate from Spain.
ROASTED BRUSSEL SPROUTS WITH LA QUERCIA PANCETTA
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
- 2 ounces pancetta, minced
- 3 shallots, minced
- ½ tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Set rack in upper third.
- Toss Brussels sprouts, pancetta, shallots, oil, and salt and pepper in an 11-by-7-inch baking pan and spread in one layer.
- Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring halfway through. At end of roasting, stir in water, scraping up the browned bits in the pan. Check for salt and serve warm.
ROASTED WINTER SQUASH WITH PANCETTA
(adapted from Bon Appetit)
- 2 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled kabocha squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 2 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 2 cups 1/4- to 1/3-inch cubes peeled parsnips (about 12 ounces)
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup coarsely chopped Marcona almonds (about 3 1/2 ounces)
- 8 ounces thinly sliced La Quercia Pancetta, cut in quarters
- Butter 11x7x2-inch glass baking dish.
- Combine kabocha and butternut squash and parsnips in large bowl.
- Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in next 5 ingredients.
- Add to squash mixture and toss to coat. Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Cover squash mixture with foil. Bake covered 40 minutes.
- Uncover; bake until all vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes longer.
- Sprinkle with almonds, top with pancetta, and bake 10 to 15 minutes.
- Can be made one day ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before continuing.
We belong to a CSA and ended up long on spaghetti and butternut squashes, so last night I improvised and came up with a dish I named "Squash Squared."
- One spaghetti squash
- One hubbard squash
- 1/3 to 1/2 pound La Quercia Smoked Pancetta
- Several ounces arugula, parsley, romaine, or other flavorful leafy green to add color and flavor
- Sea salt to taste (1 teaspoon to start)
- several pods of white cardamon
- 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
- teaspoon powdered ginger
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Canola oil or olive oil
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
Cutting board, knife, two rimmed baking sheets, large ceramic bowl for mixing and serving, spatula for turning, forks for pulling out spaghetti squash strands when cooked
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. Grind salt and spices together with mortar and pestle.
- Cut La Quercia Pancetta into long slices and then into lardon size pieces (1/4 by 1/2 inch).
- Split spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Lightly coat cut surfaces with oil and place cut side down on baking sheet.
- Peel and core butternut squash and cut into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces. Toss in baking sheet with one tablespoon oil and the salt/spices mixture.
- Place baking pans in oven and bake for 30 minutes. Stir the butternut squash pieces and scatter pancetta over them. Return to oven for another 30 minutes.
- After an hour, the squashes should be done. The spaghetti squash will feel just tender when pierced with a knife and the butternut squash will be creamy and crispy, as will the smoked pancetta. Scoop the strands of spaghetti squash into a large, heated ceramic bowl and toss with a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Gently stir in the butternut squash/pancetta mixture and top with a generous sprinkling of finely slivered arugula.
CHESTNUT AND CELERY ROOT SOUP WITH LA QUERCIA PANCETTA
This soup is based on a Jean-Georges Vongerichten recipe that was in the New York Times in 2002. I used very rough and flexible measurements, because the basic format is quite forgiving.
- 5 tablespoons butter (or half butter, half olive oil)
- 3 ounces thinly sliced La Quercia Pancetta Americana, chopped in 1/2 inch or smaller pieces -- use up to 6 ounces. You can also crisp some up for a garnish!
- 2 celery hearts (white and pale green, not dark exterior ribs), finely diced - about 2 cups
- 4 small or two large celery roots (celeriac), peeled and diced -- about 4 cups
- 1 pound chestnuts (I got mine from Wisconsin in convenient 1 pound packs, frozen: Chestnut Growers, Inc.)
- 5 juniper berries, crushed
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 cloves garlic (optional), peeled, degermed and minced
- 4 to 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup creme fraiche plus more for garnish (find some at a store if you're lucky, make your own by stirring together 1 tablespoon buttermilk or yoghurt and 1 or 2 cups whipping cream and letting the mixture sit at room temperature until thickened, or use whole milk yoghurt)
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine butter (and oil) and pancetta in a large pot. Saute gently until pancetta is translucent. Add celery root and celery and cook, covered for a few minutes.
- Add garlic, chestnuts, juniper, bay leaves, and enough stock to cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil and simmer until the celery root and chestnuts are tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
- Mash or blend the soup (I used an immersion blender). The original recipe calls for mashing only half the soup and leaving the rest in lumps, but I prefer the more elegant puree. Add more chicken broth if necessary to thin the soup slightly. It should be thick and creamy.
- Bring the soup back to a very low simmer and stir in the creme fraiche.
- Serve in warmed bowls with a swirl of creme fraiche, a sprinkling of fresh parsley, and a drift of parmesan (if desired). Some crisped up bits of pancetta would also be tasty scattered over the soup!
Serve with a hearty salad and some good red wine.
ZUCCHINE AL FORNO CON LA QUERCIA PANCETTA AMERICANA
I am cribbing this recipe from Cucina Italiana's October 2010 edition. It's a beautiful issue, full of awesome pasta recipes and many, many recipes using dry-cured meats, all of which would be best with La Quercia meats.
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups finely chopped onion
- 2 slices white sandwich bread, torn into pieces
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 4 medium zucchini, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise
- 4 slices (about 4 ounces -- I pre-sliced package) La Quercia Pancetta Americana, unrolled
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium heat, add onion, and cooking, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes.
- Place in a 9 x 14 inch baking dish and spread evenly.
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine bread, cheese, and rosemary and pulse until bread is in crumbs and mixture is combined.
- Place zucchini on top of onions, cut side up, lay pancetta on top, sprinkle with bread mixture, and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil.
- Bake about 40 minutes, until zucchini is tender. Serve warm.
RED PEAS IN CHICKEN AND LA QUERCIA SMOKED PANCETTA OR SPECK STOCK
This recipe is a variant of one I found at Anson Mills, a wonderful source for all kinds of delectable grains and legumes. I made a broth with pork, beef, and chicken bones, and when it was totally done, I simmered it with a chunk of our La Quercia Tamworth Smoked Pancetta. You could also use a chunk of La Quercia Speck Americano.
- 2 cups Anson Mills Sea Island Red Peas, soaked in water and refrigerated overnight, then drained
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and cut in half
- 1 carrot
- 4 celery ribs
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon curry powder (I used Penzey's Majarajah Curry)
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Fine sea salt to taste
- Bring the stock to a simmer in a large pot. Stir in the soaked and drained peas, onion, celery, carrot, bay leaf, and curry powder.
- Return soup to a simmer and cook over low heat, partially covered, until peas are tender, stirring occasionally, for about 1 1/2 hours.
- Remove the vegetables (onion, celery, carrot) and bay leaf. Stir in salt to taste.
- Blend a cup or two of the cooked peas and broth in a blender or food processor and return to pot. Or you can use an immersion blender to partially puree the soup.
- Serve with rice, grits, or polenta. I cooked up some lacinato kale and onions to serve with the rice and beans. Any sturdy green would be great. A delicious garnish would be some crisped La Quercia Tamworth Smoked Pancetta or Speck Americano. Serves at least 6 to 8 with the rice, grits, or polenta.
LA QUERCIA PANCETTA WRAPPED GREEN ONIONS
I made these little bundles for brunch this morning with our La Quercia Tamworth Smoked Pancetta. The delicate, sweet smokiness of the bacon was perfect with the barely cooked green onions.
For each bundle (you'll want two bundles per person).
- 3 or 4 green onions, root ends trimmed and green part cut so total length is about 9 inches
- 1 slice La Quercia Tamworth Smoked Pancetta or Pancetta Americana (if using the pancetta, open up the round as shown in photo)
- Heat a small amount of oil in a large skillet (I used two tablespoons in my 12-inch pan) and cook the bundles, turning frequently, until browned and crisped on all sides, 5 to 8 minutes.
- Place on a serving platter, sprinkle very lightly with salt and finely (freshly!) ground black pepper, and serve hot.
CHEESE SOUFFLE WITH LA QUERCIA TAMWORTH SMOKED PANCETTA AND PIMENTO DE LA VERA PICANTE
I concocted this recipe because I had some wonderful Manchego that our son brought home from Spain that was mouldering away in the refrigerator. I also had our Tamworth Smoked Pancetta, pimenton picante, and wonderful eggs from Coyote Run Farms. The basic souffle recipe is the Cheese Souffle Cockaigne from The Joy of Cooking.
- 4 large eggs, yolks and white separated
- 5 ounces Manchego cheese, grated
- 1 ounce parmesan, finely grated
- Butter for the souffle dish
- 4 slices La Quercia Tamworth Smoked Pancetta, cut in thirds
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pimenton de la vera picante
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a souffle dish by buttering it well and dusting with the finely grated parmesan.
- Melt the butter in a shallow pot. Add the flour, salt and pimenton and cook until the flour and spices are thoroughly melded with the butter.
- Add 1 cup milk and cook until thick and bubbling. Remove from heat.
- Stir in the egg yolk and grated Manchego and stir over very low heat until cheese melts. Set aside to cool briefly.
- Beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry and gently fold the white sauce/cheese mixture into the egg whites. Carefully pour into the prepared souffle dish and arrange the pancetta slices on top.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Serve immediately!
I made a very pretty platter of greens, sliced raw fennel, roasted beets and red peppers, and fageolet beans and heated up some baguette for a very delicious dinner.
ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH WITH PANCETTA AND CHILES
A16 Food + Wine by Nate Appleman and Shelley Lindgren with Kate Leahy
(NB: Nate has since left A16 and SPQR, moved to New York, and after a stint at a fine pizzeria is now developing great recipes for Chipotle. )
Nate Appleman, chef at A16 and SPQR in San Francisco, California, is this year's winner of the James Beard Foundation's Rising Star Chef of the Year Award (www.jamesbeard.org) AND is one of Food & Wine Magazine's 10 Best New Chefs for 2009 (www.foodandwine.com). Nate came to visit us last year and cooked an amazing dinner for hundreds of Iowa wine aficionados under less than ideal circumstances.We loved having him here and hope that he'll return with his family, perhaps for the Iowa State Fair!
A16 Food + Wine is a fascinating introduction to Nate's expressions of the foods of Campania– bold and savory, simple and seasonal. The first part of the book is Shelley Lindgren's exploration and explanation of some of the excellent wines of southern Italy. The second part is Nate's recipes with wine pairings. The recipes are interesting and accessible; the accompanying photographs of food, people, and landscapes are exciting and clarifying.
- 1 (3 pound) butternut squash
- Kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 ounces pancetta, diced (about 1 cup – use thick slices of pancetta and cut into ¼ inch dice)
- 2 Calabrian chiles (available lightly brined and packed in olive oil, or substitute ¼ to ½ teaspoon dried child flakes), stemmed and chopped
- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees (F). Halve the squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Peel the squash halfves and slice crosswise into ½ inch thich pieces. You should have about 8 cups.
- In a large bowl, toss the squash with a few generous pinches of salt and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Divide the squash between two rimmed baking sheets, spreading the pieces evenly over the pans. Roast the squash, rotating the pans front to back about halfway through cooking, for about 15 minutes, or until cooked through and golden.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon olive oil in a small pot over low heat. Stir in the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes, or until crispy. Stir in the chiles, remove from heat, and set aside.
- When the squash is ready, remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Transfer to a large bowl, add the pancetta mixture, and toss to mix. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately.
Nate also recommends making Prosciutto Brodo (broth) from trimmings and skin to use in soups and pasta sauces. Just remember that the brodo will be salty, so adjust seasonings accordingly. His method is simple: Bring 8 ounces coarsely chopped prosciutto trimmings and ends to the boil in 3 quarts water. Lower heat to a simmer, skim off the foam that rises to the surface, and simmer slowly, uncovered, for about 2 hours. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean container. The brodo keeps in the refrigerator for a week or in the freezer for 3 months. Before using, bring the brodo to a simmer and stir to reincorporate the fat. Serves 6.
ARTICHOKES ALLA CONTADINA
Andrew Carmellini is the chef and owner of Locanda Verde in New York City. He's the 2004 winner of the James Beard Foundation's Best Chef: New York City and was the founding chef at A Voce, also in New York. When he first opened A Voce, Chef Andrew offered La Quercia Prosciutto Americano naked on a cutting board to his customers, an extraordinary and humbling honor. He is a fabulous talent and the food at Locanda Verde is truly delicious. And I heartily recommend his cookbook, Urban Italian: Simple Recipes and True Stories from a Life in Food. It's interesting, beautiful, personal and funny, and the recipes work! Here are some of the recipes that would be great with La Quercia dry-cured meats: Artichokes alla Contadina; Veal Tenderloin with Pancetta and Mushroom Marsala Sauce; Prawns Wrapped in Pancetta and Sage; Springtime Spaghetti Carbonara with Ramps, Risotto Terrazzo-Man Style; Fig Salad with Arugula, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and Prosciutto.
I made a variation on the Artichokes alla Contadina and thought it was great. Here's my version, with annotations per the original.
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup pancetta in large dice
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 4 to 6 large artichokes, outer leaves removed so only tender inner leaves remain, halved, chokes removed (I used 4 very large ones and trimmed them aggressively)
- 1/4 teaspoon each salt and peppered
- 1 jar of Rustichella d'Abruzzo cherry tomatoes, skins removed (the original recipe calls for 2 whole fresh tomatoes, chopped)
- (1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed -- I did not use this, because our guest couldn't eat garlic)
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
- (1/4 cup basil -- didn't have any)
- (1/4 cup pitted Taggiasca olives -- very small, mild olives packed in olive oil. I did not use any olives because these were not available and I think any other kind would be too strongly flavored and salty)
- 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs sauteed in olive oil with a pinch of salt and pepper
- Saute pancetta and onion in olive oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepot until onion starts to soften, about 2 minutes.
- Add the artichokes and salt & pepper and cook 2 to 4 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and wine (and garlic if using) and simmer off the alcohol.
- Add 1/2 cup water, lower heat, and cover pot. Cook at medium simmer until the artichokes are tender - about 30 minutes.
- At this point, you can refrigerate the dish for a day or two.
- When ready to serve, warm dish up, add the fresh herbs (and olives, if using them)
- Place the artichoke dish on a platter, sprinkle with the golden brown bread crumbs, and serve. It's good hot, warm, or at room temperature. Serves 4-6.
RISOTTO TERRAZZO-MAN STYLE
I made a rough version of Andrew Carmellini's Risotto Terrazzo-Man Style from his excellent cookbook, Urban Italian: Simple Recipes and True Stories from a Life in Food. This is a dish that definitely requires good peas and plenty of them. I would probably use more than he calls for and if you are using La Quercia Pancetta (and of course you are!) you might need more salt than the recipe says. I put a pinch of saffron in the simmering broth for color and flavor.
- 5 to 6 cups chicken stock or vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced pancetta
- 1 small onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup) or chopped leek or shallots
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 cups green peas (shelled peas or chopped sugar snap peas or a mix -- I recommend adding 1 cup chopped sugar snap peas to 2 cups frozen green peas)
- 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, plus more to taste at end of cooking
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus extra for serving
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon butter
- salt to taste
- Bring the stock to a boil and keep barely simmering.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot, add pancetta, and cook until some fat renders and pancetta colors, about 3 minutes.
- Add the onion (or leek) and cook about 2 minutes more.
- Add the rice and stir so that all the rice grains are coated with the oil and fat. Cook about two minutes, stirring.
- Add the wine and simmer, stirring, until the wine has evaporated -- a couple of minutes.
- Add 2 1/2 cups of the stock and cook, stirring frequently, until the rice has absorbed the liquid, about 7 minutes.
- Add the rest of the stock and cook 3 minutes more.
- Add the peas and ground pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until most of the liquid is absorbed.
- Remove pan from heat and add cheese, parsley, and butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately in heated bowls. Pass abundant grated cheese at the table.
SOFFRITTO OR MIREPOIX
This is a common foundation for savory sauces and soups in many cuisines.
- Onion (finely chopped)
- Celery (finely chopped)
- Carrot (finely chopped)
- Olive Oil
- La Quercia Meat of your choice, diced or shredded: Pancetta, Smoked Pancetta, Guanciale
- Sautée finely chopped onion, celery, and carrot slowly in olive oil and butter.
- Cook slowly over low heat until the flavors meld and the onions turn very slightly golden brown.
Use as a base for sauces or soups.
- Add herbs: parsley, rosemary, thyme, oregano, bay leaf. Choose herbs based on the final dish.
- Replace the celery with finely chopped fresh fennel.
- Include diced or shredded Pancetta, Guanciale, or other La Quercia cured meat.