autumn pasta with borlotti beans, cavolo nero, girolles and crispy pancetta

i’ve been a bit lackadaisical recently, when it came to food shopping and tracking down exciting seasonal foodie bits. this is very unlike me but has been due to trying to use stuff up (it took me months to work my way through the freezer but it is now done, has been defrosted and is again stuffed to the gills) and general busyness. however, this weekend i have got my act together and have lots of lovely exciting things in – fresh pasta and gnocchi, burrata, fresh borlotti beans, cavolo nero, various types of wild mushroom plus figs, amalfi lemons, wet walnuts and cobnuts.

last night’s supper was inspired by a description in a donna hay magazine – for a quick winter pasta, toss sauteed garlic, wilted kale, borlotti beans, crispy prosciutto and pecorino through cooked fettuccine. drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice to serve.

sounds delicious, non? i added some fresh girolles plus thyme to the mix, omitting the lemon juice and embracing the mild earthiness of the dish. fresh pasta too. it was delicious – a thoughtful combination of ingredients and a nice way to return to mindful cooking.

i’m sharing this with la cuisine de sarah who is hosting this week’s presto pasta nights.

autumn pasta with borlotti beans, cavolo nero, girolles and crispy pancetta (serves 2)

pasta for two

6-8 rashers of pancetta

a large handful of fresh borlotti beans

a couple of handfuls of chopped cavolo nero (centre stem removed then cut into 1” pieces)

1 teaspoon olive oil

25g butter

2 cloves garlic

a large handful of cleaned girolle mushrooms

leaves from a couple of stems of thyme

white wine

salt & pepper

parmesan shavings

cook the pancetta until crispy – i did this under the grill so most of the fat would drain away – then leave to cool on a piece of paper kitchen towel (which will absorb any remaining fat). 

cook the beans – this will take c30 minutes. alternatively you can use tinned beans which are already cooked.

if you are using dried pasta you will need to put it on when the beans are almost ready as everything else comes together quickly.  when it is c3 minutes away from being ready add the cavolo nero. if using fresh pasta, add it and the cavolo nero together top the boiling water and cooked for 2-3 minutes until the pasta is ready.

heat the oil and butter and add the garlic – fry until it becomes translucent and you can smell it. add the mushrooms, thyme and a glug of wine. after a few minutes, season then add the cooked borlotti beans, warm through for a minute and then add the cooked cavolo nero and pasta.

serve topped with the pancetta and parmesan shavings.