Recipe: Pasta with Piquillo Peppers, Pancetta, Lemon and Parsley Sauce
The Crispy Chili Oil
In a heatproof bowl, combine chili flakes, salt and porcini powder. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan until it begins to shimmer, then very carefully pour over the chili flake mixture. Whisk to combine, then allow to cool before using.
Bring a large pot of salted water up to the boil. Carefully tip the Trofie pasta into the water and cook as per manufacturers instructions. Once the pasta has cooked to al dente, use a sieve to strain it from the cooking water – being careful to reserve (roughly) a cup of the salty water.
Heat a large pan to medium heat. Once the pan is hot add the extra virgin olive oil, then gently tip the pancetta cubes into the pan. Break up the pancetta and allow it to crisp; stirring and tossing as you see fit, while letting the fat mostly render out.
Add the minced garlic and lemon zest to the pan and stir for approximately 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Deglaze this mixture with your lemon juice and allow to the mixture to reduce. Add the piquillo pepper strips to the pan as well and stir to combine. Add the chopped parsley and it to just heat through, until the mixture is hot.
Take your hot, al dente Trofie and place into a large bowl. Scrape your pan sauce into the bowl, tossing to coat with a large spoon.
Stir through your grated Grana Padano in to meld the sauce and pasta, then season to taste with flaky salt.
If the consistency of the pasta sauce is not to your liking, reconstitute it with some of the reserved pasta water, little-by-little.
Place the Crispy Chili Oil on the table so each guest can drizzle some over their pasta.