Sunday, May 23, 2010

My Favorite Pasta

Our family has a few staples that always make an appearance at get-togethers. All holidays or extended periods of time together must incorporate homemade pizza, some form of Mexican food, and Jamie Oliver Pasta. The pasta is amazing. To be honest, I'm not even really sure what caused us to make it the first time. I mean, it sounds ok -- cabbage, mozzarella, and pine nuts -- but certainly not something you would drool over. Until you've tried it. It's totally drool-worthy. The flavors come together amazingly. You can taste everything individually, but they play off each other perfectly. Trust me, it's fabulous.

Having always made this with my mom and sister of the vegetarian persuasion, we left out the pancetta. And it was always fantastic, so no big deal. However, for the first time I tried this with the pancetta when I made it for me and the hubs. It was still really good. Different, though. The pancetta was a much stronger flavor than the others. I felt that it just slightly overwhelmed the other flavors I love so much. Not that the pancetta flavor wasn't delicious, but I think next time I would use a lot less so it was tasted in a few bites here and there instead of as the main thing in every bite.

Oh, and don't let the super creative, official name of this recipe throw you off. It will always be referred to as "Jamie Oliver Pasta."

Farfalle with Savoy Cabbage, Pancetta, Thyme, and Mozzarella
adapted slightly from Jamie Oliver's "The Naked Chef"

10 strips pancetta or lean bacon, thinly sliced
olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 good handful of thyme, leaves picked from stems
1 large savoy cabbage (quartered, cored, and thinly sliced)
1 handful grated parmesan cheese
1 lb. dried farfalle
salt & pepper
7 oz. buffalo mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch dice (high quality mozzarella is really worth it in this one)
2 handfuls pine nuts, lightly toasted

Boil water for the farfalle and cook according to directions on the package. Meanwhile, in a pan, fry the pancetta (if you're using it) with olive oil until lightly golden. Add the garlic and thyme and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the cabbage and the parmesan, stirring to keep the parmesan from sticking to the pan too much. Put a lid on the pan and continue to cook for about 5 minutes, making sure to continue stirring or shaking the cabbage so it doesn't clump too much.

Once the cabbage is tender you are finished cooking with it. He recommends loosening it with some olive oil. I don't usually do this step, as I find it easy enough to work with, and I like mine somewhat clumpy. Toss the al dente farfalle with the cabbage mixture and add the mozzarella and pine nuts at the last minute. I usually let it sit so the mozzarella can just begin to melt before I serve it. Enjoy -- I know you will!


  1. It's nice to know that the pancetta didn't ruin it too much... :-P

  2. Oh, & I like your new photo!!