This simple gathering of complementing ingredients makes a stylish meal. The uncooked piquant sauce is made while the pasta boils. If vegetarians are present, pass the pancetta separately and use vegetable broth in the sauce.
4 oz (125 g) thinly sliced pancetta
3 to 4 ripe plum tomatoes
4 cups (1 L) lightly packed baby arugula
1 cup (250 mL) lightly packed parsley leaves
2 tbsp (25 mL) olive oil
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
½ tsp (2 mL) freshly ground black pepper
½ cup (125 mL) chicken or vegetable broth
½ cup (125 mL) whipping cream
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb (500 g) fettuccine (dry)
1 cup (250 mL) freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
½ cup (125 mL) toasted pine nuts
1. Coarsely chop pancetta. Sauté pancetta in a medium nonstick frying pan over medium-low to medium heat for 10 minutes or until golden and crisp. Drain on paper towels; set aside. (If making ahead, cover and refrigerate for up to a day. Briefly warm in frying pan to restore crispness, if needed.)
2. Seed and dice tomatoes; there should be about 1½ to 2 cups (375 to 500 mL). Set aside. (If making ahead, cover and leave at room temperature for up to several hours.)
3. When ready to serve, place arugula and parsley in blender jar with olive oil, salt and pepper. Combine broth, cream and garlic; heat on high in microwave for 40 to 60 seconds or until very hot but not boiling. Pour over leaves and seasonings in blender jar; whirl, stopping to scrape down sides until a somewhat thin sauce forms.
4. Meanwhile, bring a large pasta pot half-filled with lightly salted water to a boil; cook fettuccine according to package directions until al dente, usually about 8 minutes. Drain some of pasta water into a large heatproof serving bowl to warm it (pour out water before adding finished pasta); then finish draining pasta. Return pasta to hot pot.
5. Add sauce; toss until fettuccine is coated. Add tomatoes, about half of cheese and all of pine nuts. Toss and serve in warmed serving bowl or on warmed serving plates sprinkled with pancetta; pass remaining Parmesan. If a more substantial meal is preferred, accompany with poached or grilled salmon fillet or grilled chicken.
Makes 4 to 6 servings