So…my inspiration for this dish was the May 2010 cover of Bon Appetit.  I tweaked the recipe a bit to my liking, so I’m listing the original recipe below, as well as my variations — so you can make it how you like it.  Afterall, isn’t cooking really all about what explodes on YOUR tastebuds?  Oh, and if you haven’t gotten into the  Stieg Larsson series.  You should. 

Fettuccine with Peas, Roasted Broccoli & Pancetta 

Ingredients 

  • 12 ounces fettuccine or penne (I used whole wheat fettuccine)
  • 3 ounces pancetta or bacon, chopped
  • 1 1/4 pounds asparagus, trimmed, cut on diagonal into 1-inch pieces (I subbed a head of broccoli, which I roasted with a little EVOO before adding to the dish)
  • 2 cups shelled fresh green peas, blanched 1 minute in boiling water, drained, or frozen peas (do not thaw)
  • 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced, white and pale green parts separated from dark green parts (I didn’t have green onions in the house, so I used half a yellow onion)
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving (I used about a cup)
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream (I used about a cup here, as well, to make it saucier)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided (I used dried)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil, divided (I used dried)

Preparation 

Cook pasta in pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot. 

Meanwhile, cook pancetta in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 teaspoon drippings from skillet. Add asparagus to drippings in skillet; sauté 3 minutes. Add peas, white and pale green parts of green onions, and garlic; sauté until vegetables are just tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. 

Add vegetable mixture, 1/4 cup pasta cooking liquid, dark green parts of green onions, 1/2 cup Parmesan, cream, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon peel, half of parsley, and half of basil to pasta. Toss, adding more cooking liquid by tablespoonfuls if needed. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer to large bowl. Sprinkle pancetta, remaining parsley, and basil over. Serve, passing additional Parmesan cheese. 

My twist on Bon Appetit's pasta

Cabbage Patch Rolls

February 28, 2010

My mother’s birthday was last Friday.  She and Daddy were at the lake for the weekend, so they came for dinner last night.  We toasted the evening with a signature drink of a Champagne Pomegranate Cocktail, followed by Roasted Red Pepper Soup and an entree of Cabbage Rolls with Champagne Risotto.  For dessert, I picked up some Black & White Cookies — my mom’s favorite, from when she was little in New York.

I’ve been playing with the settings on my camera.  What do you think?

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The champagne, featured throughout the meal

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Blanch the cabbage for about 30 seconds to soften

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The meat mixture rolled and forming the first layer in the dish

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Add half a chopped red apple and the white sauce

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Sprinkle with cinnamon

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Add second layer of cabbage rolls, top with remaining sauce, apple and more cinnamon

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Meanwhile...

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I roasted red peppers for the Roasted Red Pepper Soup (toss peppers with evoo and bake at 350 for about 45 min.)

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Doesn't that look delicious? Baked Cabbage Rolls with Champagne Risotto (topped with pancetta)

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Don't forget the crusty garlic bread

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And for dessert, Black & White Cookies.

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