Tuesday Dinner: Pasta with Mushrooms, Pancetta and Wilted Greens

2014-11-11 at 18-14-51It occurs to me that there are a lot of greens in my house. I have a big bag of kale that I picked up at Wegmans two weeks ago (kale keeps forever), two bunches of Swiss chard from my Saturday farmer’s market trip and a bag of mixed greens that I grabbed at the store. The latter is a blend of kale, and turnip, mustard and collard greens. They were on sale and looked intriguing, particularly since I knew that this dish was on tap for this week.

I actually intended to make this last week, but The Wife’s digestive system fell apart (she would probably appreciate that I did not go into any further detail). This meant that my Meatless Monday plans were pushed to Tuesday, and we had a bland dinner of turkey sandwiches. Looking at all of the food I bought, this was the dinner that could get bumped until this week.

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My only concern were the shiitake mushrooms, but they were allayed when I read on the Chow.com boards that those will keep up to 3 weeks, if refrigerated.

I have preened over Yasmin Fahr and her recipes before here on this blog, but she put together a really nice recipe here that covers the gamut of salty (pancetta), bitter (greens), earthy (mushrooms) and spicy (serrano peppers). The end product works really nicely together.

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Being able to shelve this for a week.

WHAT DIDN’T: My lemon went bad, which was disappointing. The insides were brown and dry, which is not what I would expect for one week old.

WHAT DID THE WIFE SAY: This is really good. There are a lot flavors going on here.

WILL IT MAKE ANOTHER APPEARANCE: Sure. We like mushrooms and greens here.

2014-11-11 at 18-13-54Pasta with Mushrooms, Pancetta, and Wilted Greens
Adapted lightly from Yasmin Fahr’s original at Serious Eats

  • 1/2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 lb. pancetta, diced
  • 2 cups shiitake mushrooms, stems trimmed and cut into slices
  • 1 shallot, sliced thin
  • 1 serrano chile pepper, stemmed, seeded and minced
  • 5 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 lb. dried fusilli or rotini pasta
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups, packed, leafy, bitter greens (such as kale, mustard or collard greens), trimmed, washed and stemmed
  • Juice of one fresh lemon (or 2 tbsp. bottled lemon juice)
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

2014-11-11 at 17-48-23Add oil to a large saucepan over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add the pancetta. Cook to render its fat and brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms to coat in the oil and rendered fat. Let cook until the mushrooms have softened further and browned, about 5 minutes.

2014-11-11 at 17-53-09Add the shallots and minced serrano, stirring in. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until the shallots soften. Remove from heat and transfer the contents to a bowl. Set aside.

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Increase the burner to high and add the stock to the pan. Add pasta, cooking for 2 minutes less than the package’s directions for al dente.

2014-11-11 at 18-08-59 2014-11-11 at 18-09-56Add the greens and stir together. Cook 1 minute to wilt greens and blend with pasta. Add the pancetta-shallot mixture and stir together. Cook an additional minute or two, or until the liquid has reduced and formed a creamy sauce. Adjust flavors with salt and pepper.

2014-11-11 at 18-10-58Stir in the lemon juice, remove from heat and serve hot with grated cheese.

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