Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Pasta with Pancetta, Mushrooms, and Chard

We all know pasta is one of the great comfort foods—but it’s also one of the most versatile. This dish is light but satisfying with a blend of savory and salty, and, of course, fresh ingredients. The vegetables and pasta alone make a flavorful vegetarian version of the recipe, but if you like a little protein, pancetta adds just the right amount of meaty taste to round out the pasta. And no guilt: only three ounces spread among four servings. How light is that?

Serves 4

  • 7 oz mini rotini
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 oz. thinly sliced pancetta, chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 12 oz. campari tomatoes, chopped
  • 8 oz. white or crimini mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chopped chard leaves (thick ribs removed)
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving

Chopped Pancetta

Sauce Veggies
  1. Cook the rotini in boiling, salted water 7 minutes and drain.
  2. Heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring frequently, 3 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the tomatoes, mushrooms, and oregano and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the tomatoes begin to break down and the mushrooms soften, 8-9 minutes.
  4. Add the chard and cook until it wilts, 1-2 minutes. Add the drained rotini to the skillet and stir well to combine.

Pancetta Beginning to Cook

Onion and Garlic Added

Tomato Mixture Added

Cooked Tomato Mixture

Chard Added

Pasta Added
Divide the pasta among 4 shallow bowls and pass Parmigiano-Reggiano at the table to grate on top.

Pasta with Pancetta, Mushrooms, and Chard

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