My favorite food blog in Italian is Le Recette di Baccos. Marina has done a lot of research to identify traditional regional recipes, handed down from mother to daughter, and every day she shares one of them with us. About a month ago she shared a pasta dish that she had seen her own mother prepare: penne con porro e pancetta (penne with leeks and pancetta). It is as simple as it sounds. I prepared it using my own homemade pancetta, and loved it. Thank you Marina, for sharing this and other recipes! The main change that I made to her technique is that I cooked the leeks in the fat rendered from the pancetta to catch the additional flavor. I hope you approve, Marina ;-)
If you compare the photo of my finished dish to Marina’s, you will notice that the ratio of leeks and pancetta to pasta is different for my dish. For Italians the pasta is the most important part of the dish, and therefore other ingredients are used sparingly. When we only have pasta for dinner (as a piatto unico), I change the proportions a bit so that the balance is suitable for a healthy meal. This means increasing the amount of vegetables and proteins relative to the carbohydrates (i.e. pasta). Even though we love pasta and eat it almost every day, this often means the proportion of pasta in the dishes I cook is lower than in Italy. In this case, I used the amount of leeks and pancetta for 4 to serve only 2.
150 grams (.33 lb) penne pasta
2 leeks, white part only, about 400 grams (.9 lb)
100 grams (3.5 oz) pancetta, diced
1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Two years ago I prepared lemon-basil chicken breast sous-vide. The combination of chicken with lemon and basil works very well. You can also prepare this without using sous-vide.