Fresh Veggie Capellini with Pancetta and a Poached Egg
Guess what I love?!?! Pasta! So when it comes time for me to indulge in satisfying, creamy, fragrant pasta; I make that shiz count! Guess what (again)? I did! From the acidic tomatoes and the vibrant crunchy asparagus to the creamy cannellini beans, luscious poached egg and crispy pancetta, this pasta has got it going on. Like in a Marvin Gaye "Lets get it on" sort of way. Eat it like you're in a food eating contest sort of way. But also, it is wildly simple and won't dominate the entirety of your evening cooking it. I am not seeing any cons here. But if you do, please take a number and customer service will get back to you as soon as possible. (P.S. Customer service is a little overwhelmed in the Pottinger home. It is a one woman show. So... you might be waiting a while. Sorry. Not sorry.)
My husband always gets hesitant when I tell him beans are one of the main proteins, or that there are vegetables in his pasta. But this dish was received with rave reviews. When will that boy learn? I do almost everything well. Except lose weight. I don't do that well. That's a struggle. Back to food... If you're looking for a satisfying pasta that is bursting with fresh flavors, this is for you. The natural flavor profiles of the ingredients shine through without being weighed down with a heavy sauce. Each ingredient is distinctly delectable but perfectly complimentary, working in unison to make your mouth and tummy super happy. Whether you're looking for a hearty satisfying meal, or a light summery pasta; once again, I got you! Seriously, just don't even mess with those other food blogs. Lets just agree here and now to enter into a monogamous food relationship. I'm down if you are. :)
3/4 package capellini noodles (12 oz)
1 bundle asparagus, blanched*
2 dry pints (20 oz) baby Heirloom tomatoes (like grape tomato size, but heirloom)
8 oz pancetta
5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 yellow onion, finely diced
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup parsely, chopped
2 cans canellini beans
1/2 tsp salt, more to taste
1/2 tsp black pepper, more to taste
red peper flakes to taste
eggs, 1 per plate, poached**
1. If you have a whole "block" of pancetta, cut into small cubes (1/4"-1/2"). If you have purchased sliced pancetta, just give it a few run throughs with a knife so that you end result is 1/2" square/rectangle/shapes.
2. Add the pancetta to your pan, and cook on a medium high heat until the pieces have crisped up and fat has been rendered. (This will take 5-8 minutes depending on the size/shape of your pancetta. Pay attention and continue to push it around in the pan so that doesn't burn.) If you wish to keep your pancetta crispy (I did), then use a slotted spoon to remove it from the pan and set it aside on a paper towel/plate/etc...
3. Add butter to the pan and allow it to melt.
4. Add minced garlic and finely chopped onion to the pan and brown them in the butter/pancetta fat (4-5 minutes).
5. Add lemon juice, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, parsley and halved tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes.
6. Add the al dente cooked capellini (according to package instructions, roughly 3-4 minutes) and give a gentle toss/stir.
7. Add the blanched asparagus*, canellini beans, and cooked pancetta (if you removed it) and continue to toss until evenly coated. Be careful not to be too rough with the pasta or it will break.
8. Top with a poached egg**, finishing salt, fresh cracked pepper, red pepper flakes and some parsley garnish.
In case you're unfamiliar with blanching, I am going to break it down super simple for you...
1. Boil water.
2. Prepare an ice bath (a bowl with ice and some water), enough to submerge the boiled asparagus in.
3. I always break the base of the asparagus off before eating it. That's what you're "supposed to do". Then I sliced it into 1"-1 1/2" strips on a bias. You can play around with this if you want. Refer to visual cues in the photos above.
4. Boil for 3-4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon (or drain hot water first) transfer the asparagus into the ice bath.
5. Drain after the asparagus has cooled and use for the dish.
Poaching eggs can be easy or tricky. So if you want to soft boil one, that is also an option.
1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Make sure it is enough to cover the egg(s).
2. Add a tsp or so of white vinegar. (If you don't have white vinegar, any "light" vinegar will work.
3. Once the water has come to a boil, reduce the heat so that it is at a gentle simmer (small bubbles rising from the bottom).
4. Crack the egg into a ramican or small bowl so that it can be gently lowered to the water's surface.
5. Some people prefer the "whirlpool method" (lowering egg to the center of the whirlpool to keep the whites from feathering out), believing that the swirl will keep the egg in the middle. Personally, I do better just lowering it in. But that is up to you.
6. Poach 1 or 2 eggs at a time.
7. Lower your egg(s) into the water, turn off the heat and cover for 5 minutes.
8. Using a slotted spoon remove the egg and plate it.