Drunken Spaghetti & Eggplant, Bean, and Pancetta Bruschetta
• 2 quarts water
• 1 bottle red wine (old or leftover is fine) • 1 lb. dry spaghetti • ½ pound pancetta, diced • 2 tbsp. butter • ½ cup ricotta cheese • ½ cup walnuts, chopped • Shaved Pecorino cheese to top
- Bring the water and the wine to a boil in large pot. Cook the pasta in it until the pasta is al dente. Drain, reserving a few tablespoons of the cooking liquid.
- In a sauté pan large enough to hold the pasta, cook the pancetta in the butter until the fat has been rendered.
- Add the spaghetti and about 1 tablespoon of the reserved cooking liquid to the sauté pan. Once the liquid has reduced, remove the pasta from the heat.
- Add the ricotta and walnuts and mix with tongs. Top with the Percorino and serve.
TIP: The best way to overcook your pasta is to follow the package directions. Always cut the time by one-third.
Eggplant, Bean, and Pancetta Bruschetta
• 4 slices thick, rustic bread
• 6 tbsp. olive oil • 6 cloves garlic • 1 sprig rosemary • 4 oz. pancetta, diced • 1 whole eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes • 1 15-oz. can cannellini beans (or other beans you like), drained • Salt and pepper • Juice of 1 lemon • ½ cup parsley, roughly chopped Recipe:
- Brush each slice of bread with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, then grill the slices oiled-side down until they are nice and charred and super crispy.
- Put the remaining olive oil into a large sauté pan with the garlic, rosemary, and pancetta. Cook over medium heat until the pancetta fat is entirely rendered, then add the eggplant and turn the heat a little bit higher. Cook until the eggplant is soft to the touch and a little bit brown on the outside (if it releases a lot of water, turn the heat all the way up).
- Add the beans, stir to combine everything, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the lemon juice and the parsley, and serve on the bread.
For More Information on Fabio, and his Newsletter “Fabio’s Kitchen Academy,” go to his website: www.Fabioviviani.com.
Fabio’s New Cookbook, "Fabio's Italian Kitchen," is available at amazon.com!