Wednesday, October 3, 2012

P4: Perciatelli con Porcini, Pancetta, e Pollo

Monday October 1st became grayer and grayer as the day wore on and by cocktail hour, it was cool, overcast, and misting. Not the ideal weather for sitting out on the patio and basking in the glow of just having been married the day before, a nice glass of red wine in hand. But not ones to let the weather slow us down too much, Ann and I went down in the cellar and poked through the haul of unopened wine that people brought to the house on Sunday, looking for something that we really wanted to drink. Despite all the choices, we went back to the tried and true: Glen Manor Vineyards Hodder Hill 2008. The only downside to this wine is that it made me think that it's a shame that our wedding was smack in the middle of harvest and Jeff and Kelly couldn't attend on Sunday.

But gray weather was just perfect for an earthy fall pasta with mushrooms and herbs. I had a tremendous jones all day for a mushroom and rosemary pasta with a splash of cream. As the day wore on, I added and subtracted ingredients in my head until I arrived at exactly what I wanted.

Mise en Place: Porcini, Pancetta, Pollo, Herbs and Garlic
Mushroom broth is the key to any good mushroom pasta and so I rehydrated a handful of porcini in some warm water and then strained the broth into a saucepan. I reduced the porcini stock to a couple tablespoons of syrup while I was prepping the other ingredients: shredded dark meat from a roasted chicken, diced porcini, some pancetta, garlic, parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. You can see in the picture that the rosemary is the smallest pile of herbs: a little goes a long way.

P4: Perciatelli con Porcini, Pancetta, e Pollo
The assembly is very straightforward. Start by rendering the pancetta to about half crispy then add the garlic, rosemary, sage, and thyme and let the herbs sweat along with the pancetta. Next add the mushrooms, porcini reduction, and a splash of cream along with a touch of salt and pepper. Reduce just slightly. Finish by adding the roasted chicken and parsley and tossing with hot pasta. The roasted chicken is certainly optional, but for some reason, it makes me happy!

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