TCD 005| Fresh Pasta Pappardelle with House Cured Pancetta and Fava Beans

I'm really proud to present this video because it's a long time in the making; not necessarily the completed dish itself, but all the fundamental cooking techniques required to actually execute this dish properly. When the thought struck to start a cooking "blog" (back before I even created FCS), I originally intended to chronicle advanced cooking techniques from a working chef's perspective.

Yet wanting everyone to be able to play along at home, I was concerned that I would constantly have to stop and explain that "the reason your knife cuts aren't accurate is because you need to use a professional pinch grip and utilize your guide hand properly." Or "your pan reduction sauce isn't turning out because you skipped a couple key steps in the stock making process and then later the reinforce and reduction stage.

So instead of jumping straight into advanced cooking topics, I realized it would be helpful to lay down a base curriculum, that started with the basics and progressed much like culinary school would. This is what led me to start podcasting, originally with The Free Culinary School Podcast, which latter morphed into this site,

What excites me is that for literally years now, as I've preached and posted off and on about technique being king and creating your own recipes. This pasta dish illustrates a new "baseline" of where we'll be going in the future. This isn't a recipe, but more of a collection of recipes and techniques brought together to create a delicious completed dish that I would be proud to serve to a paying customer. But more importantly, this video illustrates how you yourself can combine the techniques covered in our video tutorials and audio lectures to find your own unique style and develop your own creative recipes.

That is what Stella Culinary is all about.

Just to illustrate the versatility this pasta dish allows, here are some ideas:

The list can go on, but instead, what are your ideas? How can you take fresh pasta and turn it into your own unique dish? Let me know in the comments!

Related Resources

Site Categories
Video Index: 
Featured Techniques: 

There are 9 Comments

Nina's picture

This dish is right up my alley except that I cannot find fava beans in my area!  I saw them once years ago and was told that they never returned because of lack of interest.  What's a fava bean lover to do?

  Also, I don't mind if you use tongs ;)

"People who love to eat are always the best people." -- Julia Child

skflyfish's picture

 I cannot find fava beans in my area!

Well grow them! ;-)

Kathy (the weekend wife) uses baby limas, shell beans, even canned beans as well as fresh favas. A word of warning, you will be 'puttering' around the house afterwards. ;-)

And speaking of Kathy, she would probably give you (@Chef) a big hug for a pasta dish without cheese. I have never seen an Italian so against cheese in her pasta dishes. She gags every time Lydia throws a big handful of pecorino in her pasta dishes.

Nice video.

jacob burton's picture

@ Nina,

As a California boy I take Fava Beans for granted; they're one of my favorite ingredients of spring. Fresh English Peas would also work great in this pasta dish. Do you have a Whole Foods Market in your area? I'd be really surprised if they didn't carry them.

@ SK,

I like cheese with pasta, but for this dish it wasn't appropriate. Just because you make a pasta dish doesn't mean you're obligated to grate cheese over the top. The question you should always ask yourself is "will this ingredient enhance this dish."

For this particular pasta dish, the answer was no. I didn't want the added salt content but also wanted to keep this pasta dish light and fresh; the addition of cheese would have weighed it down.

Nina's picture

I do have a Whole Foods and didn't think of it (not in my neck of the woods).  My two cents about cheese is that with the beautiful delicate flavors and cured meat, I would also forego cheese.

"People who love to eat are always the best people." -- Julia Child

esavitzky's picture

along with the sourdough brown bread.  Cant wait for the weekend.  God, its only Wed.

esavitzky's picture

A full weekend of using SCS techniques including the Sourdough Boule and European Brown Bread.

Here is the dish in the pan

And on the plate with another SCS favorite, pan roasted halibut with lemon (almost beurre blanc sauce) with capers and tomato concasse.) Just cant make the beurre blanc work right.  I think I'm going to have to stay after class in detention to practice.

The only technique I had to borrow was the pancetta.  Didnt want to wait a few weeks for an 1/8 lb of pancetta.

jacob burton's picture

Looks awesome. Sounds like you had quite the epic cooking weekend. The beurre blanc does take a little practice. Have you tried the stabilized version yet using Xanthan Gum?

esavitzky's picture

Yet I do have some Xanthan Gum.  Must give it a try to get it out of the way before I start cooking.  I think the pan is just too hot.  Need to back off the heat a bit.