Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Pan-seared Chicken and Crispy Pancetta with Fiery Hazelnut Pasta

I saw this recipe on Giada De Laurentiis's show on Food Network called Everyday Italian, it was called Fiery Angel Hair Pasta, and centred around chili oil, for which she provided a recipe. This again inspired me to create a new version that I think works better, the original was vegetarian, which works well, don't get me wrong, but I'm certainly not a vegetarian, and find that vegetarian dishes, especially small salads, don't quite fill me up as a lunch meal. Add a little meat to it, and I'm fine. I think the salty, crunchy combination of the pancetta suits the lemon and spiciness of the pasta. The original recipe calls for 1/2 cup of chili oil, if you like it spicy, then by all means replace the 1/4 cup of hazelnut oil with chili oil. Now, I used my French toasted hazelnut oil, the smell was incredible when I poured the sauce over the pasta, and reminded me of the Hazelnut-orange pasta that I had made several weeks ago. I also did not make my own chili, rather I used chili oil I found in the Asian section of the supermarket. It turned out quite well, was not spicy at all, so it's likely I'll adjust it next time with more chili oil.

Pan-seared Chicken and Crispy Pancetta with Fiery Hazelnut Pasta
Adapted from a Giada De Laurentiis Recipe
1/2 pound pancetta, cubed
1 chicken breast, butterflied
1 pound angel hair pasta
1/4 cup Chili Oil
1/4 cup Hazelnut Oil
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons lemon zest
Coarse sea salt
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the boiling water, then add the angel hair pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 6 to 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water.

Fry the pancetta with a little oil on medium heat, until crispy brown, about 3-4 minutes. Remove to a plate.

Fry the butterflied chicken breast in the remaining oil, about five minutes each side. The chicken should be brown on both sides. Slice the chicken into long pieces.

Stir the oil, parsley, lemon juice and lemon peel in a bowl. Add to the cooked pasta and toss with enough reserved pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time, to moisten. Season the pasta with salt to taste. Pour into a large serving bowl. Sprinkle with the Parmesan, then place the chicken and the pancetta on top of the pasta and serve.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interestingly enough, when my husband tried the pancetta, he commented that they have a meat like it in the south of China. It translates as "December meat".