This is a recipe from the Babbo cookbook, which I absolutely love, by Mario Batali. The combination of pancetta and parsnips is just about perfect. I love to make homemade pasta and this black pepper fettuccine has a lot of zip to it. You can add as little or as much pepper as you like. If it's freshly ground, of course, it's going to be zippier. My farmer's market closed up shop this week and these were the last parsnips of the year. There were a few that were really bizarre looking, like something out of Lord of the Rings. That's part of the charm of buying local organic vegetables!
Black Pepper Fettuccine with Parsnips and Pancetta
for a printable recipe, click here
- 2 cups all purpose unbleached flour or Italian 00 flour
- 1.5 cups semolina flour
- 2 whole eggs plus 3 more egg yolks
- 1 or 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 pound pancetta
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 pound parsnips, peeled, halved and cut into 1/4 inch half moons
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley
- Parmigiano Reggiano cheese for serving
Combine the flours on the counter and make a well in the center. Break the eggs in this well, add the pepper and, with a fork, beat the eggs and then start incorporating some of the flour. Continue this until the dough is firm and not very sticky. You may not use quite all of the flour. Bring the dough into a ball and knead until the dough is soft. Wrap in plastic wrap and let it rest for at least 20 minutes. (You may also make this dough and knead it in your stand mixer, with the dough hook. Semolina flour is a little tougher to knead than regular flour).
After the dough has rested, roll the dough into sheets with your pasta rollers and then use the fettuccine attachment to cut into strips. I usually roll the dough to setting #6. Lay the fettuccine on a lightly flour towel while you make the sauce.
Bring a pot of well salted water to the boil.
In a large saute pan, cook the pancetta until it is browned and the fat has been rendered, about 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the pancetta to a plate lined with paper towels and set aside. Add the butter and olive oil and parsnips and saute over high heat without shaking the pan too much until they are golden brown about 5 -6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, add the parsley and cook 1 minute longer.
Cook the fettuccine in the boiling water for about 2 minutes. Take the pasta out with tongs and place directly into the saute pan with the sauce. Toss and add some of the pasta water to keep the sauce from getting too tight. Serve with grated Parmigiano Reggiano.
adapted from the Babbo cookbook, by Mario Batali
*I make my dough with a combination of semolina and regular flour, which I think makes a nicer taste and texture. If you only have regular flour, just use that. If you would like to buy semolina flour, here is a resource.