Thursday, December 30, 2010

Pancetta, sage, ricotta & olive pasta

Two sleeps before I awake to a new year with limitless possibilities and no expectations.
I am looking forward to this new year more than others before; this one almost past, whilst filled with joy and wonderful experiences, was also filled with much heartache and loss for me - but I guess that makes it one I won't forget in a lifetime of years...

For the new year I am breaking old habits, one of them being the tradition of a new year's resolution, instead, I will endeavourer to live in the present, and make the most of whatever comes my way - no self-promises to be broken :). Que sera, sera...

In regards to what I shall be cooking in 2011, I am setting myself a challenge to cook at least three recipes per week from my collection of dusty, and almost forgotten cookbooks. It is time I finally discover which books contain golden recipes and which merely lumps of lead, as let's face it, not all printed recipes are great ones...

Perhaps I will end up with a little extra shelf space for some new and wonderful books as well.

Speaking of which, what are some of your most tried and true cook books?
And are you making any New Year's Resolutions?

Pancetta, sage & ricotta pasta
adapted from No Time To Cook by Donna Hay
serves 2

200g pasta (rigatoni)
15g butter (I used 30g)
1tsp olive oil
8 sage leaves
8 slices pancetta, sliced thickly (I used three for R's bowl)
1/2cup green olives, halved
pinch chilli flakes
1 tbs lemon zest (I omitted as R doesn't like lemon)
2 tbs lemon juice (I omitted also)
150g fresh ricotta
finely grated Parmesan to serve

Cook pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water for 10-12 mins. Drain.
Meanwhile, in a large, deep frypan, add butter,oil, sage & pancetta and cook for 3mins or until pancetta is crisp (I cooked pancetta separately as it takes a while to crisp up). Add olives, chilli, lemon zest and juice and then drained pasta to the pan, toss to coat. Place pasta in bowls and top with chunks of ricotta and sprinkled Parmesan cheese.

ease: 4.5/5.
prep time: 5mins.
cooking time: 15mins.
total: 20mins.

taste: 3/5. Sucker-punch pasta.

This dish certainly isn't mild by any means. I actually quite liked the briny olives with the strong sage and bite-y Parmesan upon the soft pasta and cool ricotta with a hint of heat. Hubby found it too salty, despite there being no additional salt, and as much as I liked the flavour combo, I have to agree that it was quite salty, the lemon I omitted most likely would have helped to cut through that with its acidity and would add some 'freshness'.

would I make it again: No - hubby thought it was OK, but would prefer to see what else is out there.


  1. Mmmhh, a fantastic pasta dish!

    Happy New Year!



  2. What a pretty pasta. I'm sorry it was so salty. I bet my boyfriend would love it regardless as he's a huge fan of olives and likes his food on the salty side. I'd do well to make the same resolutions you listed. I also need to exercise more not only for appearance's sake but mostly to try to improve my sleep quality. These days I increasingly turn to the 'net rather than cookbooks, but in terms of desserts my vegan cupcake book (Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World) hasn't led me astray yet. Happy New Year!

  3. I am making resolutions, but I'm still working on them. My favorite cookbooks that I go back to time and time again, are anything by Mark Bittman, Donna Hay, or Sara Foster.

  4. This pasta looks nice, but I'd probably omit the olives. Olives in pasta isn't really my thing, especially with pancetta!

    Your resolutions sound good - I'm sooo crap at making them, because I never stick to them! However, 2011 is bringing a whole lot of adventure my way, so I shall make the most of whatever it brings me! That's my only "resolution", mighty similar to yours ;) Happy New Year, lovely! Enjoy it!

    Jax x

  5. this sounds super yum!!! great colours and textures to the mix too, with amazing photos. Have a fantastic 2011 filled with fun, love, laughter and lots of culinary adventures!

  6. I love your cookbook resolution for 2011 - I should probably do that too... ;) Fabulous-looking pasta, too! Gorgeous colours.

  7. I love the sound of this pasta, it looks gorgeous too. Well done on your cookbook aim. I think this is a very good idea. & I love the 'living in the present' notion. I'm aiming to get into the habit of going to sleep earlier. & I would love to get into some of the recipes in 'Apples for Jam', that I have had bookmarked for ages. And a new cookbook that I have 'Jamie Does' - especially the Swedish recipes.
    Heidi xo

  8. sounds like a worthy challenge! good luck with it. :)
    and hey--nice pasta dish. it has lots of interesting components!

  9. Good luck with your resolutions....let's call them intentions. I feel better with that word!

    Yummy pasta dish to start the New Year with!

  10. OoOo.... I would actually do this without the olives... the Boy isn't big on olives.. but I would double the amount of cheese! I'm going to die of a heart attack one day :(

  11. Everything I love in one dish!! LOVE it!!
    hmmm... cookbooks? I'd have to say I love Jamie's at home book and most of Donna hays!!

  12. lovely blog. hoping to browse more. wanted to point out that this recipe has the tag "vegetarian" but contains pancetta as the main ingredient.

  13. Thanks

    and the pancetta isn't a main component, rather more of a garnish, I just sprinked it on my husbands bowl at the end, my bowl didn't have any. If you can add the meat component afterwards I classify it as vegetarian as it is optional.