Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Fettuccine with Escarole and Brie

Its too bad this bowl probably contains a thousand calories, because I'd love to be able to make this again soon. Funny thing is, I was born lactose intolerant, but the docs were able to talk my stomach into digesting dairy anyway. (Its a silly story, but its explains my hatred of strawberry milkshakes.) While I love ice cream, and I'm ok with most cheese if its melted (as in pizza or in sandwiches)(except cheddar, gross), I have a really hard time liking cheeses. I don't like how they smell, I don't like the texture, I don't like the flavor.. blech, cheese. Dave has tried to warm me up to them. (There he goes again.) I will say, to my defense, he found the process too entertaining. He loves the face I make the instant a stinky cheese touches my tongue. I think he would give me tastes I wouldn't like on purpose, just so I'd make that Mr. Yuck face. Evil husband.

Anyway, my point is, its funny that while I really don't care much for a lot of cheeses, I really really love brie. Love it. Give me a nice triple cream smeary brie and a loaf of french bread and get out of my way!

So, Ruth, for my entry for Presto Pasta Night, this week, I submit: fettuccine with escarole and brie. I'd never purchased escarole before, and at Whole Foods, because the little sign was in the wrong place, I almost bought some fancy radishes (they looked like white carrots). I had a fairly good idea that escarole was lettucey, but would have gotten those radishes anyway, and this would have been a significantly less tasty dinner.

I used organic whole wheat pasta, and I added about a cup of shredded chicken to the mix. (I keep some shredded rotisserie chicken in the freezer for adding to salads.)

Like I said at the top, because of the bacon and the brie, this is no diet food. It was lovely and creamy and satisfying, and I will most certainly hold on to the recipe.

Fettuccine with Escarole and Brie
Food & Wine Magazine, May 2007

3/4 pound fettuccine
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 ounces thinly sliced pancetta or bacon, coarsely chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 shallot, minced
1 pound escarole, cut into 1-inch ribbons
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 pound Brie (preferably a wedge), rind removed

In a large pot of generously salted boiling water, cook the pasta until just al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 1/4 cups of the cooking water.

Meanwhile, in a very large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the pancetta and cook over high heat, stirring, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and shallot and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the escarole, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, just until wilted.

Add the pasta to the skillet along with 1 cup of the reserved pasta cooking water. Tear the Brie into 1-inch pieces and add to the skillet. Cook the pasta over moderate heat, tossing, until the Brie is melted and the sauce is thick and creamy, about 4 minutes; add more of the pasta cooking water if the sauce is dry. Season the pasta with salt and pepper. Transfer the pasta to bowls and serve immediately.


Julie said...

I'm a huge cheese lover, Brie is one of my favorites next to Blue cheese and extra sharp aged provolone.This recipe looks wonderful.

Ruth Daniels said...

I'm with both of you - Brie rules!

The dish does look awesome, thanks so much for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.