While the American South may be the acclaimed master of all things meat, there’s no excuse for passing on the produce. From picnic sides and pickles to fresh garden salads, soups and desserts, the fruit and vegetable bounty of the South is beautifully represented in The Southern Vegetable Book, a new collection from author, writer and TV personality Rebecca Lang.
I love pasta that’s easy enough for a weeknight supper but pretty enough for company. This classic combination of pancetta and asparagus is dressed with a luxurious butter sauce, or al burro in Italian. Buy authentic Parmigiano-Reggiano, and you’ll be glad you did.
- 1 pound fresh thin asparagus
- 4 to 6 ounces thick pancetta slices, diced
- 1 (9-ounce) package refrigerated fettuccine
- 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Toppings: shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly ground black pepper
For the fettuccine
Snap off and discard tough ends of asparagus. Cut asparagus diagonally into 1 1⁄2-inch pieces.
Sauté pancetta in a large skillet over medium heat 5 minutes or until crisp; remove from skillet.
Cook fettuccine and asparagus in boiling salted water to cover 2 to 3 minutes. Drain, reserving 1⁄4 cup pasta water.
Melt butter with oil in skillet over medium heat; add hot cooked pasta and asparagus, cheese, and next 3 ingredients. Toss to coat, adding enough reserved pasta water to make a glossy sauce. Remove from heat; sprinkle with pancetta. Serve immediately with desired toppings.