Truffle Appetizers and Pasta with Guanciale, Peas and Pecorino
Tonight was fun, an improvised dinner that made everybody happy and satisfied. We did not use fresh beans from the Farmers’ Market but some generic frozen organic Petit Peas, the Pecorino Cheese did not come from a remote corner of Lazio or Sardinia, but from my local supermarket, and instead of using Guanciale, we settled for some anonymous salted pork cheek. The Appetizer though, oh… sinful truffle, sweet honey, crunchy warm almonds, and a chilled bottle of white wine.
Serves: 4 / Prep Time: 10 min / Cook Time: about 15 min
PECORINO AND TRUFFLED HONEY CRACKERS
A no-brainer: choose your favorite cracker, flat bread, or multi grain, pick a nice Pecorino that is not too salty, and buy our delicious truffle honey.
Slice the cheese thin and rest on the cracker, drip some honey on top using a small tea spoon.
ROASTED ALMONDS WITH TRUFFLED SALT
Count a handful of raw unsalted almonds per mouth-to-feed, and roast them in the oven at 400 Fº for about ten minutes, tossing them around in the pan a couple of times to ensure a proper roast.
When ready, transfer them into a plate or on a cooling rack and let them rest for a few minutes... you want to serve this appetizer warm, by the time you open the bottle of wine, they will be ready to be sprinkled with some extra virgin olive oil, and set in a serving platter. On the side, in a little bowl, pour about three tea spoons of Truffled Salt. Dip and crunch and the wine is almost finished by the time you start thinking about your main course.
PASTA WITH GUANCIALE, PEAS AND PECORINO CHEESE
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.
In a large skillet saute` the Guanciale in a drop of olive oil (about 2 tbsp), when the pork starts browning, add the garlic cut into chunks. Saute` for an extra couple of minutes, until the garlic in golden, and add the peas.
Cook on a medium flame for about 10-15 minutes, dress with salt and pepper.
Choose a pasta that can scoop the peas out of your plate like shells or rigatoni, and cook it in the boiling water for about a minute less that is indicated in the box as the recommended cooking time. When ready, strain the pasta and add it into the skillet with the peas. On a high flame finish cooking the pasta while sizzling with the sauce. Right before taking the skillet off the stove, sprinkle 1/2 cup of freshly grated Pecorino cheese and toss the pasta a couple of times more.
Serve right away, dress with the remaining Pecorino, extra virgin olive oil and some pepper. Taste the pasta before adding salt, the pecorino and the Guanciale together make for one salty bite to begin with.....
Preparation is minimal, execution is easy, this is a dish that always delivers a smile and a full stomach.
Debi and Gabriele