What I Made: Cheesy Fettuccine with Escarole

 

Oh Food & Wine, can you do wrong in a recipe?  This recipe for fettuccine with escarole in a brie sauce was one of my favorites thus far.  Not too heavy, but with a decadent touch of creamy brie that makes a simple but sophisticated sauce.  Check out the photos and recipe below.

 

Behold! A pound of escarole.  This was about half of my very large head of beautiful leafy goodness.
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The original recipe calls for 2 ounces of bacon or pancetta, but in hindsight, I would have added about 4 ounces of chopped cooked ham, cut into a much coarser dice.  The meat taste was faint to nonexistent! EscaCheese2

I rolled up the escarole and cut it into roughly 1 inch ribbons.  You can see at the top right that I trimmed the leaf base a bit to get rid of some of the tougher stalk material.

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Cooking up the shallot with the bacon.

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The escarole goes in light green and fluffy.

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 And cooks down to a glossy dark green after about

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Add the cooked fettuccine, some pasta water, and the brie.  The sauce will thicken as it sit.

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Fettuccine with Escarole and Brie via Grace Parsi/Food & Wine

3/4 pound fettuccine
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 ounces thinly sliced pancetta or bacon, coarsely chopped (see above, I would add 4 oz chopped ham)
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 shallot, minced
1 pound escarole, cut into 1-inch ribbons
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 pound Brie (preferably a wedge), rind removed

  1. In a large pot of generously salted boiling water, cook the pasta until just al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 1/4 cups of the cooking water.
  2. Meanwhile, in a very large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the pancetta and cook over high heat, stirring, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and shallot and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the escarole, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, just until wilted.
  3. Add the pasta to the skillet along with 1 cup of the reserved pasta cooking water. Cut the Brie into 1-inch pieces and add to the skillet. Cook the pasta over moderate heat, tossing, until the Brie is melted and the sauce is thick and creamy, about 4 minutes; add more of the pasta cooking water if the sauce is dry. Season the pasta with salt and pepper. Transfer the pasta to bowls and serve immediately.
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