Every time I serve one of my more successful culinary experiments, my family encourages me to write about it on the blog. Otherwise it may be the last time they will ever enjoy that particular dish. One of these “could-we-have-it-again-some-other-time, please” dishes, is pasta with endive and pancetta.
The recipe is a combination of the traditional Italian preparation of pasta and bitter salad and the French chef Robuchon‘s flavouring of endive leaves with honey. The result is a brilliantly balanced dish – not too bitter, not too sweet and not too salty. But with a crisp pancetta (or bacon) umami topping to contrast the moist softness of the vegetables and pasta. The pasta I’ve used this time is homemade fettuccine of plain 00 flour and water, but you can also serve pasta with endive and pancetta with egg based pasta of good quality, store bought dried pasta, as well. It’s all equally delicious.
2 medium endives
1 tsp honey
½ tsp nutmeg, cinnamon, clove and ginger.
Olive oil, salt and pepper
2 tsp flour
200 ml broth
200 crispy fried pancetta or bacon
Chop the pancetta and fry it crisp.
Wash, dry and trim the endives.
Slice the endives lengthwise into strips, and chop the strips in sections.
Heat the oil in a casserole, add endives and cook them over medium heat for a few minutes.
Add spices and honey, and give the flavours time to blend.
Sprinkle flour over the endives, and gradually stir in broth until you have a creamy vegetable sauce.
Boil the pasta for 2 minutes, if you use the fresh, homemade vegan version (or follow the cooking instructions) on the packaging.
Drain the pasta, fold it with endives and sprinkle with pancetta, and your fettuccine con indivia e pancetta is ready to serve.