Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Recipe: Pasta with Pancetta, Capers and Broccoli Rabe

Pasta with Pancetta, Capers and Broccoli Rabe

I developed this recipe for Wine Guerilla's new cookbook, which emphasizes dishes that pair well with their California Zins.

Although most people think of pairing Zinfandel with meat dishes like grilled steak or Barbeque, I quite like it with hearty pasta dishes, such as this one. The ripeness of the Zin balances out the edgier flavors of the salty pancetta, the heat of the red pepper flakes and bitterness of the greens. To make a great vegetarian version that works equally well, omit the pancetta and add an extra teaspoon of capers. Enjoy!

Serves 4 as a second course.

1 box farfalle pasta


2 to 3 slices pancetta
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 bunch broccoli rabe, washed, tough stalks removed and chopped fine
1 teaspoon capers
1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1 tablespoons olive oil (best quality you can find)
1/4 cup Romano Cheese

Put water for pasta on to boil.

Fry pancetta in a large skillet. When done, remove from hear and drain on paper towels. Drain fat from pan, except for 1 tablespoon. (Vegetarians: Omit pancetta. Use 1 tablespoon olive oil here.)

Saute onion in skillet until it begins to turn translucent. Add garlic and broccoli rabe and cook on medium heat, adding a few splashes of water if garlic starts to burn. Cook until broccoli rabe is tender.

Return pancetta to skillet and add capers and pepper flakes. Turn off heat, drizzle the olive oil over the broccoli rabe, and cover.

Cook pasta according to the package instructions. When pasta is done, drain, add the broccoli rabe and Romano cheese, and toss well.

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