“One must consider the final result.”
A Pasta to Satisfy Any Craving!
I think cooking by instinct, tasting as you go, using your own preferences (and skills) as your guide will, without doubt, create more opportunity for success in your final result. I like pasta dishes like this which work with your senses to create the perfect finish for YOUR tastes… like more goat cheese? Add more! Heavier cream? Go for it!
I also really like this recipe as it’s one of those perfect all good things in moderation sort of dishes… originally inspired by a recipe from my favourite of all time chef Biba Caggiano from her Italy Al Dente book (which by the way I HIGHLY recommend if you love pasta) I mean sure pancetta (or any cured meat for that matter) isn’t the single best thing you could include in your diet, but in this case it’s in moderation and so I don’t feel too guilty about enjoying this dish once in a while, same goes for the cream… and on that matter, unless I’m making something that strictly calls for a 35% cream then I almost always opt for lighter version and I know my arteries (and hips!) thank me. The funny thing about this recipe, for me at any rate, is that there is neither onion nor garlic! It just doesn’t need it… so many gorgeous flavours coming together without requiring them, so it makes a nice difference.
While picking up the ingredients for this dish I had a nice chat with the guy at the deli counter… I often have really meaningful and memorable chats with people at the grocery store now that I think of it… remind me to tell you about the produce guy’s take on global warming sometime… really interesting! Anyway back to the deli counter dude. He commented that he could see I had just worked out (nice that he didn’t say I looked sweaty and gross). I told him that with all the writing and eating that goes on in my world it was a must. I went on to point out that unlike him I was not on my feet all day and had to counter that. It was his response that really touched me… he said,
“We all have to work out the right thing for our own lives and if only we could see that in others we might live in a much gentler world.”
It’s not that the idea is so unheard of, it’s more that moments like this can occur anywhere with anyone. I left the grocery store feeling gentler and kinder… and also really excited to make my version of this pasta dish for dinner… at the time I’m writing this it’s a rainy gross day and a nice big bowl of pasta is exactly the best thing on such a day!
Look at it! It’s just so very satisfying even to look at! Wait until you smell it and then taste it… you will be in heaven I promise.
Enjoy and Namaste!
- Rotini (or pasta of choice) *I always make more pasta than I require as it holds well undressed in the fridge for a couple of days)
- Oil for pan
- 5 slices ¼" thick pancetta, diced
- 4 plum tomatoes, chunky diced
- 6-7 shakes Worcestershire sauce
- 4-5 big handfuls of fresh spinach, rough chopped
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 cup chicken broth
- ½ cup cream (fat level not strictly important but the richer the better)
- ½ tsp chilli peppers or to taste
- Approximately ½ - ¾ cup goat cheese to finish
- S&P to taste
- Heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan
- Sauté pancetta until golden, retain fat if flavour is what your after... looking for something a little more lean, drain it.
- This would be a good time to cook your pasta. Drain it only... never ever rinse!
- Add tomatoes to pan and cook over med-high heat shaking pan occasionally until the liquid begin to thicken and tomatoes break down a bit.
- Add Worcestershire, stirring to combine.
- Add spinach, white wine & chicken broth, stirring to combine and allow the spinach to cook down for a 2 or 3 minutes
- Add cream and chilli peppers
- Toss in cooked pasta, stirring to incorporate
- Add goat cheese
- Adjust seasoning, being careful not to add too much salt as the cheese may lend enough saltiness.
- Serve with a little more chopped spinach as garnish