Monday, February 05, 2007

Fennel-Pancetta Ragout

Here is a quick dish that goes as well as a side dish for meat, a pasta sauce or a topping for creamy polenta. If there are only 2 of you, you use this to compliment a Sunday roast and then eat the leftovers over pasta on Monday night. Fennel bulb is diced large and sauteed with pancetta or bacon and garlic to create a rich-tasting dish.

1 tbsp olive oil
2 medium fennel bulbs, stalks removed and fronds reserved
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup water, optional
4 ozs of lean pancetta or bacon cut into batons (1/2 inch long and 1/4 inch wide)
salt and pepper to taste

Cut the fennel bulbs into about a 1-inch dice. Place the fronds aside. Heat the oil in a large sautee pan over high heat. Add the fennel and let turn a golden brown before you flip the pan. Music to flip fennel by: "Last of the Blue Diamond Miners" by bluegrass, rock, funk band, Stir Fried. You want the fennel to get a rich, tasty brown color which really enhances the flavor of the final product. Once the fennel is browned, add the minced garlic and stir well. If the vegetables begin to turn a dark brown shade before they are medium tender, add about 1/4 cup of water and let them "boil" until the water evaporates completely. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the pancetta and cook for another 10 minutes. Serve as you please.


Blogger Beenzzz said...

I've heard before that fennel has a slight licorice flavor. I love pancetta and I bet this is an absolutely mouth watering side dish!

5:00 PM  
Blogger ML said...

My husband loves anything licorice. He would love this!

9:28 PM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hi Beenzzz, The licorice quality of the fennel plus the salty ham-ness of the pancetta make a great combination

Hi ML, I just discovered your blog yesterday, It's a lot of fun! Let me know if you make this dish one day.

10:36 PM  

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