Farfalle with Pancetta & Sage

Rainy days are the best day to cook; it always was and forever will be! Rainy, fall days are even better. I can turn a few ingredients into a masterpiece as long as Anita Baker or Aretha Franklin are in the background serenading me. It’s been raining for days here and because I had some sage and mushrooms that were near expiration, I decided it was time to make my favorite pasta dish. Rainy days with pasta are epic, y’all.

Back when I was a broke graduate student living on food stamps and a dream, I’d make this dish for my family and friends to get us through to the next payday. It’s amazing what you can do when you’re hungry with a limited amount of groceries. We’d eat this and watch Netflix [back when it was $5 a month] or dance the night away to the MJ Experience on my Wii. I get really nostalgic when I think of this dish… it’s carried us over and through so many times. I’ve tweaked it since the mid-2000s because pancetta wasn’t something I was willing to spend money on back then.

No sunlight means somewhat shitty indoor lighting photos… sorry, not sorry! In my dream kitchen, there’s a window on the roof directly above my stove and island. But, here in present day, y’all get fluorescent lights, bad camera angles and pure imagination. Click the photos to enlarge.

Modifications for those that need them: If you can’t grab pancetta, use bacon. Same pig, different area. Be sure to use fresh sage instead of dried, and if you can’t find shallots, use yellow onion. My only suggestion is to ALWAYS use heavy cream. I’ve tried this with half & half, and I’ve tried this recipe with milk… it’s a no! Other than that, do what you do! I’ll post short clips of the end product to my Instagram page later today.

I hope you enjoy one of my easiest and most affordable dishes. It’s definitely in my top 3 favorites! You can add a side of salmon, beef or chicken with it. Not shown in the photos are four handsomely baked chicken thighs with herbs de provence and lemon zest. Let me know how you like it and I’m wishing you the best of luck in your kitchen adventures. Enjoy!

THE RECIPE

Serves 4-6

  • 1 lb. farfalle pasta

  • 1 c. cremini mushrooms, sliced

  • 4 c. chicken broth

  • 6 oz. pancetta, diced

  • ½ c. heavy cream

  • ¼ c. asiago cheese

  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed

  • 2 shallots, chopped

  • 2 Tbsp. butter, salted

  • 2 Tbsp. fresh sage, chopped roughly

  • 2 Tbsp. herbs de provence

  • 1 Tbsp. white pepper

  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes

  • Salt to taste

  • Fresh parsley to garnish

  1. Bring 4-6 quarts of water and 3 cups of chicken broth to a rolling boil. Add salt and pasta. Stir to keep from sticking. Cook about 8 minutes. The pasta should be firm and not completely done.

  2. While pasta is boiling, using medium high heat, fry pancetta in butter until browned. Add shallots, mushrooms, garlic and sage. If pancetta mix begins sticking, add some pasta water to pan. Cook until veggies have softened. Remove from pan.

  3. Turn stove to medium low heat. Add the remaining cup of chicken broth and heavy cream. Season with salt, pepper, and herbs. Play with it and season to your satisfaction. Add asiago cheese in and stir. Allow sauce to come to a simmer then add pasta.

  4. Fold in the pancetta-veggie mixture. Toss until the sauce sticks to the pasta.

  5. Top with freshly parsley and grated parmesan or asiago cheese. Serve & Enjoy!