Chef Jay Lewis' Pasta with Crispy Pancetta, Basil and Toasted Ma - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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Chef Jay Lewis' Pasta with Crispy Pancetta, Basil and Toasted Mascarpone

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Joining us in the kitchen is Chef Jay Lewis. He is a local man who's written a cookbook geared for guys it's called 'The Gentleman's Cookbook' and you'll find more than just great recipes on the pages. To find your copy, click here. 

Pasta ti Amo with Crispy Pancetta, Basil and Toasted Mascarpone:

Pumpkin Butter Pesto:

2 tablespoons of apple butter
1 table spoon of chopped garlic 
2 ounces of pine nuts
3 tablespoons EVOO
6 ounces pumpkin puree
3 ounces fresh chopped basil
1 teaspoon salt

Apple Raspberry Drizzle with a Merlot Finish:

2 tablespoons of apple butter
1/2 teaspoon raspberry vinegar
2 ounces merlot 
1/4 cup of sugar

Pancetta & Apples:

1 whole fresh apple diced

1 pound fresh pancetta, chopped 1/4 inch

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 ounce minced onion

2 ounces unsalted butter

Cooking Instructions:

It is a good idea to already have your fettuccine  cooked off and standing by to be used. Also, I like to toast my pine nuts and turnips in a bit of EVOO ahead of time.

Also, if you want you can prep your Apple Raspberry Drizzle with a Merlot Finish ahead of time as well. It is only used for plating at the finish. It's all in the prep work!

Pumpkin Butter Pesto: 

Simply add all ingredients into a quality blender and pulse until all ingredients are well.

Some people like their pesto chunky, others more smooth; whatever preference you have is just fine.

Once blended, pour the pumpkin butter pesto into a large mixing bowl and add in your already cooked penne. Toss up the warm fettuccine in the pesto until the pasta is thoroughly covered in that savory goodness. Cover tightly.

Pancetta & Apples:

Now go ahead and throw your chopped pancetta into an already hot sauce pan along with 1 ounce of unsalted butter.

When the butter and pancetta hit the pan they should immediately start sizzling.

Toss this mixture around until the pancetta gets nice and crispy on the edges. When you see it getting crispy, quickly add your diced apples, minced garlic and minced onion into the sauce pan with one more ounce of unsalted butter.

Cook on medium heat until the apples are translucent. This should take about 5-10 minutes. When it's finished, cover and remove from heat.

Apple Raspberry Drizzle with a Merlot Finish:

Very easy to create, simply add all ingredients into a sauce pan set to medium and reduce until a light syrup/sauce develops, this should take about 5 minutes. Careful not to make it too thick, you want it to be like a light sauce.

Once finished, simply cover to keep warm and wait for plating. It would actually be just fine if you had this ready before everything else.

We can now plate up! Grab a nice plate and pour out a bit of your Apple Raspberry Drizzle with a Merlot Finish onto the plate. Smooth it out over the entire plate with a spoon. Pour out just enough to make it a light coating as this flavor is meant to be an accent to the dish, not a swimming pool.

Next, let's spiral our warm pesto smothered pasta with a large fork. Its okay to mound it up because we need to leave room for the pancetta and apples which comes next. Next we can spoon out a generous portion of our delicious apples and pancetta right on top of the pasta

. Let it fall all over, it's so good like that. Finally, spoon out some creamy mascarpone cheese on the side. For the final touch, add a light sprinkle or raw sugar and cinnamon atop the mascarpone and CAREFULLY hit it with a blow torch until the cinnamon and sugar turns light brown(which is immediately). Be careful not to burn it to a crisp! Finally, add a few well placed fresh and fragrant basil leaves and voila!! 

After presentation, feel free to pull away a few delicious strands of creamy pasta with your fork and get a dab of the toasted mascarpone. With a single push of the fork you can scoop up perfectly balanced flavor in every bite! However, feel free to experiment with other plating ideas. Enjoy!