Tag Archives: pancetta

Seared Scallops with Pancetta and Radicchio

I’m writing this recipe even though I didn’t *love* it. However, I feel that the ingredients and seasonings were really great – I just don’t like radicchio. I’m sorry, but even with sugar and vinegar added, the radicchio was just too bitter to enjoy. That’s even with pancetta drippings all over it! Maybe my radicchio was old or something?

Anyway, if you love radicchio, you will love this. The soft, buttery scallops on top, the crispy pancetta, the blooming florals of rosemary and the sweet vinegar mixture drizzled over the top. It smelled heavenly.

I really hope somebody tries this and has more success than me! For now, radicchio just isn’t my favorite.

Seared Scallops with Pancetta and Radicchio

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 1 head radicchio
  • 2 T cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 6 large scallops, cleaned and patted dry
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 6 oz. pancetta, small diced
  • EVOO
  • 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 T minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped

Remove outer leaves from radicchio and cut head in half through root end, then cut each half into 4 wedges and remove white core. Set aside.

In a small bowl, dissolve sugar into vinegar. Set aside.

Season scallops with salt and pepper. Heat large skilled (cast iron is best) over medium heat until hot. Add pancetta and cook, stirring, until crisp, 5 min. Remove to paper towels to drain and pour off all but 3 T fat.

Increase heat to medium-high. Add scallops and sear until golden brown on each side, 2-3 min. per side. Transfer to plate and cover to keep warm.

Add onion and rosemary to the skillet and cook, stirring, until onion is softened, 3 min. Add garlic and stir 15-30 seconds, until fragrant. Add radicchio and pancetta, season with salt and pepper and cook, tossing gently, until radicchio is wilted, 2-3 min. Take skillet off heat and pour vinegar mixture over. Toss to combine.

To serve, plate radicchio and then top with scallops.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Best breakfast sandwich

My old neighborhood was so extremely D-list that I almost moved away before experiencing the awesomeness that is Dioli’s Italian Market. Located awkwardly next to a Starbucks, T-Mobile and McDonald’s, this place has my favorite sandwiches in Winston-Salem. And I mean the BEST meatball subs, full of spicy marinara, sausage and provolone. Then there is the prosciutto and arugula sandwich, the Italian … and everything else you could want from an Italian deli, not to mention the tarts, cookies and cakes…and various antipasto and side salads.

Dioli’s also makes my favorite breakfast sandwich in Winston-Salem, which I try to order every time I go to the north side of town. All I can say is you know a sandwich is fresh when they get out a new slab of pancetta to slice for your sandwich. It comes on focaccia bread and also includes an egg and cheese, if you please.

I recently went there for brunch and read my Martha Stewart Magazine and watched a long line of cars waiting for McDonald’s…if only they knew that a comparably priced and much higher-quality sandwich existed just across the street.

Here’s to breakfasts!

Pasta all’Amatriciana

Everything is blooming. When fall finally settled upon my Southern home five months ago, I thought I had never seen such color occur in nature. As a Northwestern gal, I’m used to the rich greens and sages of ponderosa pine and juniper. I wasn’t used to the sea of foliage blazing in crimson, gold and umber.

Now, spring. I swear, every one of those trees is blooming. Every one! Not just sprouting tender new leaves; blooming. I’ve never seen anything like it, not even in Seattle or Portland, Ore. Does that mean they all are fruit-bearing trees? No…we also have Southern magnolia to complement the pear and cherry trees. I stepped out of the office one day with a colleague and a perfume of flowers met us. We sat under a full umbrella of cherry blossoms, looking through the white petals to the blue sky. Perfect weather for a light jacket.

The extended evening light makes me more willing to cook after a long day of work. Granted, this still doesn’t happen quite enough, but at least I don’t go STRAIGHT to bed anymore. Instead, I make dishes like the Italian country dish called Pasta all’Amatriciana.

This is essentially a bacon-tomato based pasta that my boyfriend said reminded him of hoppin’ john. Alls I knows is this: pancetta = bacon without the smoke. I even went to the specialty store to get authentic, 1/4-inch sliced pancetta and real Pecorino Romano cheese. You must be authentic in this regard, because any thinner pancetta will dissolve into the sauce and bad cheese is just bad, especially when eaten raw.

It was simple and elegant and satisfying even for someone who wants a heartier pasta.

Coming at you from Cook’s Illustrated…

Pasta all’Amatriciana

Ingredients:

  • 2 T evoo
  • 6 0z. 1/4-inch sliced pancetta (I used 9 oz…whoops!)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes with juice
  • kosher salt
  • 1 lb. linguine or bucatini
  • 1/3 c. Pecorino Romano

Bring large pot of water to boil for pasta. Drop in pasta with a handful of salt and cook according to package.

Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium. Add pancetta and cook until crisp and lightly brown, about 8 min. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel to drain.

Add onion to skillet, saute over medium until softened, about 5 min. Add red pepper flakes, cook 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and season with salt to taste. Simmer until thickened, 10 min. Return pancetta.

When pasta is done, drain and add to tomato mixture and season with salt to taste. Toss to combine. Add cheese and toss again.

Serve with Italian parsley, more Pecorino Romano and some toasted Italian bread.

Enjoy this as you enjoy your spring, friends! xoxo