{recipe} Autumn-Is-Here Pasta

I didn’t originally make this dish with the intention of post the recipe, since it was just something I threw together. In the end, it turned out pretty fabulously so I decided to share it. In fact, Ross said it was “one of my favorite things you’ve ever made, ever” and then stuffed his face with seconds. In fact, before bed he said “I want to eat more pasta.” In fact, when he woke up in the morning, he went straight to the fridge and finished it off. So I can’t promise that YOU will love it, but some people certainly do.

If you like pasta dishes which feature the noodles more than the other stuff- then this is not for you. If, however, you like pasta dishes in which the presence of noodles provides a vehicle to get giant chunks of salty pancetta, earthy vegetables, and fresh ricotta into your face, then you should give it a try. It’s like a bowl full of fall, and extremely satisfying on a chilly night.

A few notes about the ingredients: It’s best if you can get slab pancetta or slab bacon and cut it into cubes, but you could use regular thick-cut bacon if you have to. The ricotta must be fresh, not in the tub from the supermarket. (At the risk of sounding terribly haughty I had actually made my own ricotta, which I’ll talk about in a future post, as it’s actually pretty simple to make at home.) You can get fresh ricotta at an Italian market or a kind of fancy store like Whole Foods. You could also omit the ricotta if you want; it definitely rounds out the dish, but it would still be tasty without. As to the pasta, I used fresh pappardelle, but I wouldn’t recommend it- I think a smaller pasta shape would work much better. Finally, if the pancetta is very salty you may want to be conservative on salting the rest of the dish.

Autumn-Is-Here Pasta

serves 4.


  • 1 lb. fresh pasta
  • 1/2 lb slab pancetta, cut in 1/4 inch cubes
  • 1 large or 2 small carrots, peeled and cut in small cubes
  • 1/4-1/3 lb chanterelle mushrooms, chopped finely
  • 2 leeks, sliced thinly and rinsed free of dirt
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup chopped sundried tomatoes in oil, drained
  • about 1/2 cup fresh ricotta


  • Cook pasta according to directions.
  • Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, cook pancetta in a single layer over medium low heat, until crisped and browned. Remove to paper towels.
  • Pour out grease, leaving a light coating in the pan. Reserve remaining grease in a bowl.
  • Raise heat to medium high and add carrots. Cook until soft and a bit caramelized. Remove to bowl.
  • Add 1-2 teaspoons to reserved grease and cook mushrooms over medium high heat until browned and crunchy. Remove to carrot bowl.
  • If you still have grease, add another 2 tsp to pan, or if you’re out of grease add 2 tsp olive oil. Add leeks and cook 2-3 minutes, until bright green. Add white wine and lower heat to low. Cook until wine has evaporated.
  • Stir in mushrooms, carrots, bacon, and sundried tomatoes. Mix with pasta.
  • Top each serving with about 2 Tblsp ricotta.



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