Saturday, July 23, 2011

{I Cooked} Italian

I. Love. Italian. Food. It is my favorite cuisine with soul food and Mexican and Latin food following in a close second and third. The flavors, the smells, the herbs, the pasta, the process of preparing many of the dishes and even their version of what we call ice cream…gelato (taste much better with less fat content). Admittedly, I was supposed to bring this recipe to you on Monday, but I promise this dish is worthy of my tardiness, cooking and sharing with friends.  Emeril is an enthusiastic and passionate chef, two reasons why I enjoy watching him and cooking some of his dishes.  In cleaning out my office to prepare for an interior design makeover, I came across Emeril’s Primetime Cookbook.  There were several pages folded down, but the Fettuccine with Bacon and Peas recipe caught my eye, moved me to get my inner chef on, and visit the local bevvie store in search of a wine pairing.  I decided on Pine an Post 2006 Chardonnay for two reasons: (1) Cash was a little low and it was reasonably priced, only about $10 and (2) I wanted to try a new Chardonnay. Here is the recipe along with a few photos! 

Adapted from Primetime Emeril Cookbook
Fettuccine with Bacon and Peas
·         1/2 cup fresh or defrosted frozen peas (I used defrosted frozen peas)
·         3/4 pound bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
·         3/4 cup finely chopped yellow onions
·         1 teaspoon minced garlic
·         1 cup heavy cream
·         1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
·         1 teaspoon Creole Seasoning (I used Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning)
·        2 1/2 teaspoons salt
·         1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
·         12 ounces dried fettuccine or tagliatelle (I used whole wheat linguine)
**Additions to recipe**
2 cups baby portabella mushrooms chopped

(1)   Bring a small saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the peas and blanch for 2 minutes.  Drain and set aside.
(2)   Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until browned and crispy, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.

(3)   Pour off all but 1½ tablespoon of the fat from the pan. Add the onions and mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk in the cream, then stir in 1/2 cup of the grated cheese, the Essence, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and the pepper. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring often, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.

(4)   Meanwhile, bring 1 gallon water and the remaining 2 teaspoons salt to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Add the pasta. Cook, stirring frequently to keep the pasta from sticking together, until al dente, about 7 to 10 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.
(5)   Return the pasta to the pot. Add the cream mixture, the reserved cooking liquid, peas, and bacon and toss over medium heat for 1 minute, or until the sauce is warmed through and coats the pasta.
(6)   Divide the pasta among four dinner plates, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Serve hot.

I hope you all enjoy the cooking process with family, your boo, or to simply channel your inner chef!

What is one of your favorite Italian recipes to cook? Any recommendations for a good Chardonnay priced at $10 or less?


San, The Red Head

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