Sunday, July 12, 2009
Fresh Pasta with English Peas, Pancetta & Goat Cheese
My good friend Martha, who is spending a few months back in New York City, generously lent me her old-school pasta machine for the summer, which is really exciting. I've wanted a pasta machine for years but as a perpetually poor student, could never muster the courage to part with a few hundred bones. I think it's been a subconscious decision to hold out for that second-hand deal of the century, which, unfortunately, just hasn't happened.
So I was thrilled when Martha offered me a chance to test drive a pasta machine. I couldn't wait to try my hand at ravioli, my all-time weakness. But last night I kept it simple. I made basic pasta dough, using Alice Water's guidance from the Chez Panisse Pasta, Pizza & Calzone cookbook, and cut it into tagliatelle. I wasn't exactly sure what to do with the pasta until I saw a barrel of English peas at the market - then it was obvious: fresh peas, pancetta and goat cheese.
This recipe would also be delicious using dry, store-bought pasta, but freshly made pasta has the ability to make a really good meal great.
Tagliatelle with English Peas, Pancetta and Goat Cheese
Bacon or prosciutto can be used in place of pancetta, and frozen peas if fresh ones aren't available.
Fresh or dried pasta for 2
2-3 ounces pancetta, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup fresh, shelled English peas
2-3 ounces fresh goat cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh chives, chopped
In a large pot of rapidly boiling, salted water, cook fresh pasta for 3 minutes or dry pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving some of the pasta water.
In the meantime, cook pancetta in a large skillet over medium heat until browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and peas; cook until peas are bright green, about 3 minutes. Add drained pasta to skillet and toss. Add goat cheese and as much reserved pasta water to create a "sauce." Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with chives. Toss well and plate. Garnish with more chives and a grating of good Parmesan.