Lunchbreak: Chef Jaime Laurita makes summer pasta with figs, pancetta and basil

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Jaime Laurita

Summer Pasta with Figs, Pancetta and Basil

1 lb. of Chef Jaime Laurita Bucatini
3 Tablespoons of Chef Jaime Laurita Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon of Chef Jaime Laurita Garlic Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon of butter
1 pinch of crushed red pepper
2 Tablespoons of pancetta, diced
1 shallot, diced
8 California fresh figs
1 cup of chicken stock
4 Tablespoons of lemon juice
pinch of salt, to taste
pinch of black pepper
24 basil leaves, chopped
3 Tablespoons of Goat cheese
lemon zest from one lemon
8 cloves of poached garlic

Directions and Tips:
TIP: quarter the figs, then slice quarters in half (about 1 cup)
TIP: To poach garlic Add both oils and garlic to a small sauté pan.  Bring the oil to a hot temperature, just under a boil and then reduce heat.  You are slow cooking the garlic turning it over in order to brown it on all sides… we are saying golden brown.  If the oil is too hot it will brown and cook the outside of the garlic and not the inside.

Poaching garlic gives you two things, great roasted garlic and the olive oil, which is now infused with the taste of roasted garlic.  Both are great for other applications.  The oil is great over pasta, for dipping bread or using in salad dressings.  I love to brush it on bread to make croutons for salads or pasta dipping breads.

The garlic is sweeter now, so it can be put on sandwiches, grilled meats and fish or just pop one in your mouth… they are that sweet and tender.  One of my favorite ways to use the roasted garlic is with buschetta.

In a large pasta pot, boil the pasta to the direction recommended on the package. TIP: When making pasta, salt the water enough to taste like the ocean and bring water to a rolling rapid boil.

TIP: Do not get rid of pasta water, it can be added to pasta for more of a saucy consistency.

TIP: This recipe is meant to be served at room temperature, no one wants a hot pasta dish on a summer day.  So remember… the items are not overly cooked in this dish.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, add both olive oils and butter.

TIP: do not brown the butter, cause it will darken the dish.  Think light and summer.  To brown the butter would make the dish more suited for fall.

Once the butter melts, lower heat and add the red pepper, garlic and pancetta in order to lightly brown it for about 3 minutes.  Add the shallots to the pancetta and saute for another 3 minutes. Then gently add the diced figs.
TIP: do not stir too hard or the fresh figs will break apart.

Add in stock and lemon juice, then bring to a gentle simmer in order for the sauce to get just hot enough to melt the goat cheese. Finish with a pinch of salt, pepper, basil and lemon juice.

In a large pasta bowl or in saucepan, add the pasta to the sauce and toss with the goat cheese and lemon zest.


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