Pancetta, Onion and Herb Pasta in Cream Sauce

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I whipped this one up on a weeknight when I was too exhausted too cook, working with what was in the fridge and it was a huge hit! I used some fancy non GMO pasta from Italy – totally worth the $$$.

Ingredients:
1 onion, sliced thin
4 oz pancetta, cubes small
1/4 c white wine
1/4 c dry sherry
3 tsp herbs de Provence
8 oz creme fraiche
1 c parsley chopped
12 oz pasta
Salt and pepper
4 oz asiago, shredded

Cook pasta according to package.

Heat a 12 inch skillet over medium heat, add the pancetta and onions. Cook until onions start to brown and pancetta gets crispy. Add wine and sherry scraping any brown bits from the pan. Add the herbs de Provence, creme fraiche and parsley and heat though. Add drained pasta and cheese, season with salt and pepper.

Serves 4.

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Ham with Creme Fraiche

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This one was adapting from tasting table. I love the creme fraiche sauce! This is a winner winner Easter Dinner!

Ingredients:
For the braise
2 TBSP olive oil
2 yellow onions, peeled, thinly sliced
3 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 fresh bay leaf
1 head of garlic, cut horizontally to expose cloves
3 sprigs of thyme
3 parsley stems
2 c white wine
2 cwater
1 3 – 5 lb smoked, bone-in ham, fat scored crosswise
2 TBSP butter

For the glaze
½ c light brown sugar
¼ c dry mustard
½ c white wine

Start the braise: Remove the ham from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for two hours prior to cooking.

Preheat the oven to 325°. In a roasting pan over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and carrots and cook until soft but not colored, about 10 minutes. Add the bay leaf, garlic, thyme and parsley stems and cook for 2 minutes. Add the wine, bring to a simmer and let cook for an additional 3 minutes. Place the ham on top of the mixture and add the water. Tent the ham with foil and bake, basting with pan juices every 15 minutes, for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Make the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together the light brown sugar, mustard and wine and set aside.

Make the herby crème fraîche: In a medium bowl, mix together the crème fraîche, Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, capers, thyme, parsley, black peppercorns, lemon and salt. Set aside.

Remove the ham from the oven and increase the heat to 350°. Using a pastry brush, spread the glaze over the ham. Return the pan, uncovered, to the oven and bake the ham until the crust is golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Transfer the ham to a cutting board and tent with foil. Rest for 20 minutes before slicing.

While the ham is resting, strain the braising liquid through a sieve over a medium bowl. Transfer 4 c of the strained braising liquid to a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat and reduce by half, about 8 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the butter and transfer the pan sauce to a small bowl.

Slice the ham. Serve with the herby crème fraîche and pan sauce.

Serves 8 – 10.

Truffled Pasta with Crab

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I love truffles, but let’s face it they are expensive so I settle for truffle oil and truffle salt. The slight tang of the creme fraiche pairs nicely with the sweet crab. If you don’t have truffle pasta, regular pasta will work.

Ingredients:
8 oz truffle pasta
8 oz creme fraiche
8 oz crab meat
1/4 c parley, minced
Truffle oil
Truffle salt
Espelette pepper

Cook pasta according to package.

In a 12 inch skillet heat creme fraiche and cram over low heat. Toss with pasta, season with truffle salt and espelette pepper.

To serve top with a little truffle oil and parley.

Serves 2 – 4.

Truffled Crab Pasta

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This is the perfect dish for when you want something fancy on a weeknight. I usually have creme fraiche and pasteurized crab meat on hand for just such an occasion. I topped this luscious dish with some toasted breadcrumbs to add some crunch and a little truffle salt for added decadence.

Ingredients:
1/2 lb pasta
8 oz creme fraiche
16 oz spinach
8 oz crab meat
1/2 c toasted breadcrumbs
Truffle salt

Cook pasta according to package.

Heat creme fraiche over medium low heat for about 5 minutes in a 12 inch skillet. Add spinach and cook until wilted, stir in pasta and crab, cook for 2 minutes to heat through.

Serves and top with breadcrumbs and truffle salt.

Serves 4.

Pasta with Creme Fraiche, Pancetta & Arugula

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Bread crumbs are my new favorite thing on pasta, it adds just the right amount of crunch to this creamy dish. The tart cream fraiche, lemon and arugula really make this dish a flavor party in your mouth, best of all it takes only a few minutes to prepare.

Ingredients:
1 lb pasta
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
4 – 8 oz of arugula
8 oz cream fraiche
1 c Parmesan, grated
1/4 c breadcrumbs, toasted
Salt and pepper
Red chili pepper flakes or espelette pepper

Cook pasta according to package.

In a 12 inch skillet, cook the pancetta until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Add creme fraiche to the skillet and warm over low heat, add lemon, cheese and pasta stir to coat, cook for about 2 minutes. Stir in pancetta, arugula, salt and peppers.

Serves 4.

Fig and Almond Gratin

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Patricia Wells comes up with the best recipes – seriously never had a bad one from her!! This is another winner! The thyme sugar is what really takes this over the top! I’m going to use it my ice tea too!! It’s gluten free!!!

Ingredients:
2/3 c creme fraiche
4 springs thyme
4 eggs
1/2 c sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 c finely ground almonds
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 lbs figs, stemmed with X cut half way through the figs

Thyme Sugar
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp thyme leaves

Preheat oven to 375. Spray a 10 1/2 inch round baking dish.

In a small pan, combine thyme sprigs and creme fraiche. Cook over moderate heat until it starts to bubble. Cover and remove from hear. Let steep for 1 hour. Remove stems.

Whisk together eggs, sugar and salt at high speed for 3 minutes until think. Stir in almonds, vanilla and creme fraiche.

Pour 1/2 the batter into the pan and bake for 10 minutes.

Arrange figs over the batter. Pour remaining batter over fruit and bake 30 minutes.

Prepare the thyme sugar by combining sugar and thyme in a spice grinder and grinding to a fine powder.

Remove from oven, sprinkle with sugar and bake 10 minutes.

Serves 8.

Spicy Asparagus Pasta in Cream Sauce

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The last asparagus of the season always makes me sad. So I need to cook it with a big bowl of creamy pasta to blast the blues away. This time I added a little heat to spice things up.

Ingredients:
12 oz. pasta
8 oz creme fraiche
1 lb. fresh young asparagus, trimmed & cut into 1-inch pieces
4 cloves garlic, minced
1½ tsp dried red pepper flakes
2-3 dashes hot sauce
salt & pepper to taste

Prepare pasta according to the package directions.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Sauté asparagus in the creme fraiche for 5 minutes, then add garlic, red pepper, and hot sauce. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until asparagus is softened but not mushy.

Add drained pasta to the skillet and mix to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

Serves 4.

Asparagus, Tiny Potatoes & Caviar

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This is the ultimate spring dish with some fanciness. If you have truffle oil, toss the roasted potatoes with a little before serving.

Ingredients:
1 lb tiny potatoes
1 lb asparagus, rough ends snapped off
3 TBSP creme fraiche
Zest of one lemon
1 tsp olive oil
2 TBSP snipped chives
Caviar
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 425.

Toss potatoes with olive oil and salt. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 20 – 30 minutes until crispy on the outside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook asparagus for 1 – 3 minutes depending on thickness.

Combine creme, 1 tsp olive oil, zest, chives and a pinch of salt. Chill until ready to use.

Place asparagus on a plate with potatoes, drizzle with creme mixture and garnish with caviar.

Serves 2 – 4.

Pasta with Truffles and Asparagus

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I whipped this amazing little dish up last night in less than 20 minutes. I prefer creme fraiche, but you can use heavy cream. This is a rich dish, and worth every creamy calorie! The truffles send it over the top. I used jarred truffles, so I added the juice to the creme Fraiche for a little extra truffly goodness.

Ingredients:
8 oz fresh pasta
10 oz asparagus, rough ends snapped off
8 oz cream fraiche
2 black truffles, sliced thin

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add asparagus and cook for 4 minutes. Remove and chop into 1/4 inch pieces.

Add pasta to the boiling water cook 4 minutes.

In a large skillet, heat creme fraiche, add pasta and cook for 2 minutes on medium high. Add asparagus, cook 1 more minute.

Top with truffles and parm cheese.

Serves 2.

Asparagus Pasta with Cream Sauce

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I love pasta! We eat it at least once a week. As usual, when pasta is made in our house at the end of the week it is more of use up what’s left in the fridge exercise.

Ingredients:
1/2 lb pasta
1/2 lb asparagus, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
3 shallots, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 TBSP olive oil
1 c white wine
1 c chicken stock
8 oz creme fraiche
2 TBSP fresh chives, snipped
1 TBSP fresh tarragon, chopped
4 oz ricotta Salata
Red pepper flakes

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to directions.

In a 12 inch skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat, add garlic and shallots, cook for 5 minutes until they start to brown. Add wine and stock, reduce by 1/2. Add asparagus, cook for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, stir in creme Fraiche and herbs. Add pasta and ricotta Salata, stir and serve

Serves 4.