Monday, July 1, 2013

Speck and Porcini Bow Pasta

This is an easy eat, with plenty of flavour. I like salt, a lot. So this recipe uses speck, a beautifully cured pork leg that comes from the Italian region of Alto Adige. It has a beautiful flavour, smoked with juniper and pine wood, cured in salt and herbs. If you are using capers, always buy capers kept in sea salt, they have a nicer after taste. Porcini mushrooms too, are a poor man’s answer to the truffle, a middle ground between common field mushrooms and the almighty truffle.  Because it is quite hard to cultivate and production is localised within Europe and Asia mostly, the porcini mushroom is often dried for year round sale.

Serves two
2 cups bow pasta
150g Speck
1 small red onion
2 tbsp porcini mushrooms
½ cup frozen green peas
2 tbsp salted capers
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Start by cooking the bow pasta, adding salt and olive oil. Dice the speck and fry on medium to high heat, tossing regularly, browning evenly. Separately, soak the diced porcini mushrooms. Dice red onions and set aside. When the pasta is half cooked, add the peas and allow cooking until both al dente. When the speak is near complete, add porcini mushrooms with a little of the remaining juices and stir through speck.

Combine all ingredients and add olive oil, salt and pepper to taste

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