Food, recipe

Garlic and Pancetta Pasta

Recently I went to the Virginia Wine Expo and while slightly tipsy I bought an I See Spain grater bowl. It is an absolute dream and I made this pasta to showcase it’s greatness!

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Those raised ridges on the bottom are very sharp and actually grate garlic and other roots, hard cheese and chocolate in seconds. With this dish I used garlic. Add in a little olive oil to the bottom of your dish to help with grating.

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The two cloves only took me a few minutes. In fact the pancetta that I had in the pan had barely started cooking before I was done. Which brings me to the pancetta step. You want this to cook up nice and crispy so do it at a low heat stirring frequently so that nothing burns.

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Cook your pasta in boiling water while the pancetta is cooking. The pasta I used called for boiling for about 5-7 minutes but because I was going to finish it off in the pan I only boiled it for about four minutes. And then added it when the pancetta looked like this.

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Next I added in the pasta and some diced cherry tomatoes.

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And some parmesan cheese. Because cheese is life.

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A healthy splash of your pasta water deglazes the pan and finishes cooking this pasta.

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Once the excess moisture as cooked off transfer it into the grater bowl and stir around so that the garlic and oil coats everything.

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I also sprinkled in some fresh chopped basil  for color and flavor.

Ingredients (feeds 4)

  1. 1 package of pancetta
  2. 2-3 cloves of garlic
  3. Olive oil
  4. 1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
  5. 2 cups uncooked pasta
  6. 5-6 chopped basil leaves

Recipe:

  1. Grate garlic and add to olive oil at bottom of serving bowl. Or use an I See Spain grater bowl if you have one.
  2. Boil pasta per the directions on the packet. Shave of 2-3 minutes so that you can finish cooking it your pancetta.
  3. Add pancetta to a warm pan and cook on low heat until crispy and cooked through.
  4. Add your pasta into the pancetta pan.
  5. Toss in cherry tomatoes and parmesan.
  6. Use about a half cup of the pasta water to deglaze and finish cooking your pasta
  7. Transfer into serving and bowl and toss well to coat with garlic and olive oil.
  8. Sprinkle on some chopped basil.
wine

Virginia Wine Expo 2018

The Virginia Wine Expo is a bit of a tradition for me and mine. I’ve been for the last five years running, pretty much since I moved to Virginia. Lloyd has been with me since we were first started dating and this is the second year his Mother and Sister have joined us.

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This year, though, was slightly different since the venue has changed. We had the distinct pleasure of being hosted by Richmond’s historic Main Street Station. If you ever driven up I-95 you have probably seen the distinct clock tower facade. Recently they have built a glass sided platform that really gives the station something special and was an excellent place to showcase Virginia wine.

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We walked in and were greeted by Poseidon and the ubiquitous Virginia LOVE sculpture. Because Virginia is for lovers and the God of the sea.

Reidel glasses greeted us once we cleared the ticket check and the ID verification. I have quite the collection of Virginia Wine Expo glasses after years of attending this event. In fact, the quality if the glasses have made me a die hard Reidel fan.

One of the best things about the Virginia Wine Expo is their yearly showcasing of both a domestic and international wine region. This year we sampled Oregon wine as well as Australian/New Zealand Wines. The delightful Oregon Pinot Noirs and the crisp New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs really made my visit this year. I visited the Willamette Valley a few years ago with some family and friends. I will have to write about that trip but allow me to wax poetic about Oregon wine for a few lines.

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On my trip to Oregon we visited Adelsheim, Brooks and Erath. We visited a number of other wineries as well but Brooks and Erath continue to be some of my favorite that I have ever been to. One other winery, Big Table Farm, which is not show cased here was the standout of that trip though. I feel like I should soon write a blog about that trip to the Willamette Valley. In the meantime, a brief word on the Australian and New Zealand wines.

New Zealand is known for their crisp, citrusy wine. And these didn’t disappoint. I love the clean grapefruit finish you often get with a really quality Sauvignon blanc. The Drylands and Three Brooms were especially refreshing. Which brings me to the many. many Virginia Wines we drank.

I have been to a number of these wineries in person and they all do a very good job of showing off the best Virginia has to offer. However, they aren’t some of the more prominent Virginia wineries. These would require much more in depth blogging and I will try to do them justice in subsequent entries. There were a couple of non wine vendors worth mentioning. The I See Spain grater bowls and plates were a huge hit.

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Lloyd decided to eat a couple of cloves of whole garlic which made for a malodorous few tastings following our visit to this booth. The very neat thing about these bowls and plates is that the bottom is textured so that you can grate cheese, chocolate, garlic, ginger and other foods. I have to admit that I bought a set and am looking forward to using them and blogging about them! Another new addition to the wine expo was a surprising number of distilleries the attended. While I normally love Whiskey I didn’t want to ruin my chances of a hangover free Monday so I only visited one such booth.

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The whisky here was quite tasty and surprisingly smooth. I look forward to making a trip up there soon and promise to write about it when I do. All in all the 2018 Virginia Wine Expo was a definite success. It’s also nice to be enough of a grown up to know that I won’t be hungover tomorrow morning!