Whole Wheat Pappardelle with Arugula Pesto and Corn

Could you please keep your voice down? I’m currently in an intense love affair with pancetta. I’ve used it twice in dinners this last week and I just have to tell someone. I find it incredible that it has taken me 28 years to meet pancetta, but now, everything is different. Pancetta is bacon, basically, cured but unsmoked. It is sliced thin as a ribbon and it seems to have some special power– whatever dish I add it to turns into my new favorite recipe. Image

Whole-Wheat Pappardelle with Arugula Pesto and Corn

Adapted from Food and Wine

2 cups loosely packed wild arugula (about 1 ounce), plus more arugula for garnish

1 medium garlic clove, chopped

2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


1/2 pound dried whole-wheat pappardelle (I used pasta from Stillwater and Co gifted to me by the saxophone player in our band)

3 ounces pancetta, sliced 1/8 inch thick and cut into 1/2-inch strips

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

Kernels cut from 2 ears of corn (1 cup)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving

In a pot of salted boiling water, blanch the 2 cups of arugula for 30 seconds. Using tongs, transfer the arugula to a colander and rinse under cold water. Squeeze the arugula dry and transfer to a blender. Add the garlic and almonds and pulse until finely chopped. With the blender on, gradually add the olive oil in a slow steady stream; season with salt.

Add the pappardelle to the boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the pancetta over moderate heat, stirring, until browned, 5 minutes. Spoon off most of the fat. Add the onion to the skillet and cook until translucent, 5 minutes. Add the corn and cook until crisp-tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Image

Add the pasta, reserved pasta water, pesto and butter to the skillet and cook, tossing, until the pasta is hot and evenly coated. Season with salt and transfer to a bowl. Garnish with arugula leaves and serve, passing grated cheese at the table.


Here I am making dinner after a run and doing my Pancetta dance. (Izzy is pouting in the next room because pancetta is too expensive and I can’t spare her a nib. I told her to wait for Thanksgiving–maybe a pancetta and peanut butter-stuffed Kong is equivalent to a helping of turkey and gravy.) Image

5 thoughts on “Whole Wheat Pappardelle with Arugula Pesto and Corn

      1. Well, she’s got nothing to complain about then! 🙂 You three could totally sell those at a farmers market if you were ever so inclined!

      2. Ha– well, we make them anytime we brew, because there are always pounds and pounds of left over grains!

      3. What an ingenious way to save some of that from going to waste! My parents recently told me about a farmer who drives to Duluth every day to get the beer-making byproducts from Fitgers Brewery, as apparently they make great food for cows 🙂

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