My daughter Nora is tweeting from Florence, with pics of her wine tasting in Tuscany, eating local pastries, partaking of her Italian mom’s home made jam and sampling pasta in local restaurants. This is giving me a bad case of Eater’s Envy. My most recent brush with Italian cuisine was in a restaurant in Sherman Oaks called La Dolce Vita or something whose menu featured “Spaghetti a la Bb Hope.”
This has inspired me to cook Italian (although you will not see me making home made jam). In an attempt at transcontinental bonding with Nora I’m messing with Bolognese sauce. To accommodate my dieting husband I’m making it with turkey, but adding a fair amount of pancetta to oomph it up.
Okay, it ain’t Florence, but it’s not bad for a Saturday night supper. (And it’s a hell of a lot better than La Dolce Vita.)
Non Sono In Italia Spaghetti
¼ pound pancetta, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 leeks, trimmed, rinsed, and roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground turkey (white meat, dark, or a combo)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup dry white wine
1 28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
¾ pound spaghetti
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1. In a medium, heavy pot or Dutch oven, sauté the pancetta over medium heat until brown and crisp. Set the pancetta aside, reserving the drippings in the pan.
2. Add the oil to the pan and reduce the heat to medium low. Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are soft, about 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a minute. Add the turkey with the salt and pepper and cook, breaking it up with a fork as it cooks, until it is browned, about five minutes.
3. Add the wine, raise the heat slightly and cook until the wine is almost evaporated, about five minutes. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste, bring the mixture to a simmer and cookuntil the sauce is reduced and thickened, about 30 minutes. Add the herbs and cook for another five minutes.
4. Cook the pasta in a large quantity of boiling, salted water until ad dente, about ten minutes. Drain the pasta, return it to the pot and add the sauce. Combine well and serve the pasta with grated cheese on the side.