Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Strascinate - Fettucine with Pancetta, Eggs, & Cream

I just saw that Joyce Goldstein is teaching a cooking class at The Cavallo Point Cooking School in Sausalito next month. I'd really love to go!! It reminded me that I have one of her first, if not the first, cookbook from 1989 called The Mediterranean Kitchen. I "inherited" it from my mother in law when she passed away eleven years ago. I've made many of these recipes before, but there are so many that I have yet to try. This is one of them.

  • 4 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon (or to taste) freshly grated nutmeg
  • salt
  • 6 ounces fresh fettucine 
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound uncooked pancetta, cut into 1/4 inch strips
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated aged pecorino or Parmesan cheese

Whisk the eggs and cream together in a mixing bowl. You may add the lemon juice and nutmeg if you are planing to cook the pasta right away. If not, wait and add it later for the lemon juice thickens the cream.

Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling. add the pasta and cook until tender, about 2 minutes if the pasta is thin.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small saute pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until golden but not crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a slightly warmed pasta bowl. Drain the pasta and add to the bowl. Stir in the lemon and nutmeg into the egg mixture if you haven't done so already and add to the noodles. Add the pecorino and quickly toss to combine. Serve at once. This pasta does not like to sit around."

"This pasta is supposedly the fifteenth-century progenitor of spaghetti alla carbonara. It originated in the Umbrian town of Cascia and is usually prepared with a wide noodle, such as pappardelle or lasagne. Fresh fettuccine is more easily available, but, if you are in the mood to make your own pasta, roll away and cut the sheets by had or with a pastry or ravioli wheel.

The verb strascinare means to drag or pull along the ground. In this dish the eggs are supposed to drag on the noodles. But most people overcook the eggs and end up with a scrambled mess. As a safety precaution, we have added a bit of cream and lemon to the eggs to make the draffing strands of egg a little more elegant and tender. Occasionally, we embellish this pasta with a few cooked peas. While not authentic, it is tasty. Serves 2"

(recipe from The Mediterranean Kitchen by Joyce Goldstein)

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