|Rigatoni with Zucchini Sauce and pancetta|
Why this recipe works: we thought pasta with vegetable sauce use some livening up. Instead of making our sauce with chunks of zucchini, we puree the cooked zucchini to make a creamy, vibrant sauce that coats the pasta beautifully. Rather than using thin slices of pancetta, we employ small cubes cut from a single thick piece for a heartier, meatier flavor. The slightly chewy, crisp morsels provide a nice textural contrast to the creamy sauce and tender pasta, and their gamy flavor is a great counterpoint to the vegetal flavor of the sauce. You can purchase thick slices of pancetta from the deli counter at your local supermarket.
Rigatoni with Zucchini sauce and pancetta
Ingredients: serve 4
¼ pound pancetta, cut into ¼ inch dice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 zucchini (about 1 ½ pounds), peeled, halve lengthwise, and sliced into ¼ inch thick half
4 garlic cloves, minced
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ cup white wine
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley salt and pepper
1 pound rigatoni
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Cook pancetta in large skillet over medium high heat until crisp, about 7 minutes. Transfer pancetta to paper tower lined plate.
- Add oil empty skillet and heat until shimmering. Add zucchini and cook until just tender, about 7 minutes. Stir in garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add wine and cook until liquid has almost evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add broth and cook until slightly thickened, 2 to 4 minutes. Puree mixture in blender( in 2 batches if necessary) with butter and parsley until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, add 1 tablespoon salt and rigatoni to boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain rigatoni and return pasta to pot. Stir in sauce, ½ cup cheese, and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowl. Sprinkle remaining cheese and pancetta over pasta. Serve.
Kitchen know how safely pureeing hot liquids
Using a blender to puree hot liquids is the best way to get a creamy texture, but it can also be quite in the jar forms a vortex, moving higher and higher up the sides of the jar. Hot liquids are generally thinner and less viscous than cold liquids can move all the way to the top of the blender, forcing the top to pop off and causing the liquid to spray everywhere. To make sure you don’t get burned, let the liquid cool down for 5 minutes before blending, don’t fill the blender jar past the halfway point, and hold the lid in place with a towel.