Linguine with Pancetta Mushroom Cream Sauce; kale from the garden – 4 January 2012

I pulled this recipe from the Contra Costa Times ages ago – yikes! 24 July 1996! might even have been the Trib – but never made it till now. It used up the last 1/4 cup of whipping cream from Christmas, which is why it made the cut right at this moment. Oh cool – I found two links for it, and one mentions the chef. Here’s the other.

This excellent recipe was created by student chef Jeana Lee, apparently in a contest to match Wente wines. For us: I boiled a largish version of 4 oz of linguine till al dente. Cooked one round of Fra mani pancetta cut to 1/4″ squares, in 1/2 Tbsp olive oil; removed, and sauteed 3 medium cremini mushrooms, sliced thin, in the fat (removing just a bit for the kale first) till “golden and dry”; added 1/4 cup chardonnay and cooked till 1/2 volume; added 1/4 cup cream and brought to a boil; stirred in 1 tsp grated parmesan; turned off and stirred in 1 tsp or so chopped parsley and a pinch of minced garlic. Tossed with the drained pasta (right in the small cast iron frying pan) and served, topped with 1/4 tsp grated lemon zest. We decided it wanted more zest so I grated some more over the servings halfway through dinner.

The kale was from the garden – a hale and hearty volunteer plant about 3 feet high now. I cut 3 or 4 large and wavy leaves, washed them, then boiled for a few minutes in salted water and drained. Then I heated the bit (1 -2 tsp?) of olive oil/pancetta fat mixture as above and tossed in a smidge of the garlic clove I had minced for the pasta, and cooked the kale in it, salting it a bit, and covering eventually to let it sort of steam a bit. Though it needed more salt than I gave it, once it got that, it was a really great taste.

When I asked D the other day to find a chardonnay that was good enough to drink but not so precious that we couldn’t put a bit into the cooking, he suggested the Cupcake Central Coast Chardonnay, which we apparently got at Costco. It was very good, and seems to have cost us only $7.99, which I find remarkably cheap for this fairly sophisticated bottle. Obviously, we enjoyed it quite a bit.

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