Sautéed Asparagus with Pancetta

Paired with buttery leeks and delicate pine nuts, tender-crisp asparagus is topped with Italian pancetta for extra wow.

1 pound asparagus, trimmed and sliced into 2-inch pieces
4 ounces pancetta, diced
1 tablespoon butter
1 ¼ cup leek, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

1. In a large non-stick pan, sauté pancetta, stirring frequently, over medium heat, until crisp and lightly golden.

2. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to pan. Add asparagus pieces and leek and sauté until asparagus is tender crisp, about 3-4 minutes.

3. Add garlic, lemon and orange zest, toasted pine nuts and parsley and sauté for about 1 minute, until fragrant. Season to taste with freshly ground pepper and salt and serve immediately.

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Pasta with Hedgehog Mushrooms and Chard

This week’s signature dish, with locally-foraged mushrooms, shallots and diced pancetta.

½ pound hedgehog mushrooms
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, finely minced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
4 ounces diced pancetta(optional)
1 bunch chard, chopped into 1 inch pieces
½ cup red or white wine
1 cup stock or water
Parmesan cheese for grating
Red pepper flakes (optional)
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

1. Gently brush and clean mushrooms. Sauté mushrooms in butter and olive oil until golden. Add minced garlic and shallots and pancetta (if desired) and continue to sauté until garlic and shallot is opaque.

2. Add chopped chard and continue to sauté, stirring until chard is just cooked. Deglaze pan with a little wine and water or chicken stock. Test for seasoning add salt and pepper to taste. Toss mixture with hot pasta and serve immediately

Variations: This dish is also wonderful topped with fresh chopped herbs; ricotta cheese; chopped pistachios or pine nuts; or, asparagus instead of chard.

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Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Pancetta

An easy and delicious way to prepare these tiny potatoes!

10-12 fingerling potatoes
1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
Pancetta or bacon (if desired)
1-2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh parsley or other fresh herbs

1. Preheat the oven to 350° to 375°.

2. Toss the potatoes with the olive oil, salt, and pepper until coated. Place on a baking sheet and put in the oven.

3. Roast the potatoes, shaking the pan occasionally, until they are tender and browned, approximately 35 to 45 minutes or until tender.

4. Leave whole or cut in half. They are ready to serve, but you can jazz them up with one of these ideas:

5. Sauté pancetta or bacon with a little olive oil until crispy – toss with the roasted potatoes and fresh parsley or other fresh herbs.

Add a dash of cayenne to spice things up, or toss with other roasted vegetables, like sautéed mushrooms, or spinach with a squeeze of lemon juice or splash of sherry vinegar.

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