This Tuscan-inspired dish is a favorite on the winter menu at Clarklewis. Morgan Brownlow likes how the recipe showcases the flavors of every ingredient in the finished dish—the wheaty pasta, the earthy chestnuts, the sweet dessert wine vin santo, the cracked pepper, the rich pancetta. If you can't find vin santo, substitute a medium-dry sherry.
Plus: Pasta Recipes and Tips
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
10 ounces lean pancetta, sliced 1/4 inch thick and cut into 1/2-inch squares
3 large shallots, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped sage
1/2 cup vin santo
20 vacuum-packed roasted chestnuts (from a 14-ounce jar), chopped
3/4 pound whole-wheat spaghetti
Salt and freshly ground pepper
How to Make It
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In a large, deep skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the pancetta and cook over moderately low heat until most of the fat has been rendered, about 12 minutes. Increase the heat to moderate and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pancetta is golden brown, about 8 minutes. Add the shallots and sage and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the vin santo and simmer over moderate heat for 4 minutes, then stir in the chopped chestnuts and the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter.
Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Add the spaghetti and the reserved cooking water to the skillet, season with salt and pepper and toss over low heat. Serve at once.
The recipe can be prepared through Step 1 earlier in the day and refrigerated. Let return to room temperature before proceeding.
This earthy pasta dish brings Tuscany to mind because vin santo, one of Tuscany's great sweet wines, is a key ingredient here. For an accompaniment, try a dry, Sangiovese-based Tuscan red.
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