Recipe Orecchiette in a soubise sauce with bacon

medtran49

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It's not a traditional soubise since it uses bacon grease instead of butter, but it came out really good.

Serves 2 generously

4 slices thick cut bacon
1/2 pound scallions, spring onions or leeks
1/2 pound fennel bulb plus fronds for garnish
1/2 cup white wine
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Parm R plus more for garnish
Salt and pepper
1/2 pound orecchiette

In a large straight sided skillet, render the bacon over medium low to medium heat. Remove bacon from pan. Pour grease out into a heat safe bowl and clean pan if needed (i.e. a lot of browning on bottom). Return grease to pan. Chop.bacon into small pieces, reserve.

Start pasta cooking per package directions. Cook until almost done. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water.

Meanwhile core fennel bulb and thinly slice. Thinly slice scallions/spring onions/leeks separating white and light green parts from the darker green parts.

Place the fennel and white and light green scallion/spring onion/leek parts in the pan with the bacon grease, add the white wine and some salt, and cook over medium to medium low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. You don't want any browning. Add the baking soda and cook for 8 minutes, again avoiding browning. Add the darker green parts, stir and cook for 3 minutes. Add the cream and let cook for 2 minutes until it thickens slightly. Let cool for a few minutes, then place in a blender and process at high speed until everything is pureed. Rinse skillet out then return pureed mixture to pan. Add the bacon, pasta and 1/4 cup pasta water to pan and stir over medium low to medium heat until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add additional pasta water if sauce is too thick. Add the cheese, stir, and add additional pasta water if needed. Add some freshly grated black pepper, stir. Divide pasta between 2 bowls, garnish with more Parm R and fennel fronds. Serve.
 
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I’ll be honest with you: my first impression from looking at the picture was, “this looks nice.” But, I didn’t think it was anything special. But, as I go through the recipe, I realize I really love it. There’s a lot more going on here than just pasta with onions.

I can see where you would want orecchiette or conchiglie (shells) to hold the soubise.

What does the baking soda do here? And, is baking powder appropriate as a substitute?
 

medtran49

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I’ll be honest with you: my first impression from looking at the picture was, “this looks nice.” But, I didn’t think it was anything special. But, as I go through the recipe, I realize I really love it. There’s a lot more going on here than just pasta with onions.

I can see where you would want orecchiette or conchiglie (shells) to hold the soubise.

What does the baking soda do here? And, is baking powder appropriate as a substitute?

It was really good, much, much better than I actually thought it would be. I made it with scallions this time, but may mix it up a bit next time just to see how the flavor changes.

The baking soda softens/tenderizes/breaks down the veges so they puree better. I was amazed at how pureed it got. It was so broken down that I didn't even have to put it through a wire strainer.
 

Morning Glory

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Great use of vegetables here. :okay:

The baking soda softens/tenderizes/breaks down the veges so they puree better. I was amazed at how pureed it got. It was so broken down that I didn't even have to put it through a wire strainer.

This I must try.
 

medtran49

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This I must try.

I suppose I should post the baking soda trick under the new things I learned. I've never had vegetables break down like that before. It was to the point that I think even if I had passed it through a fine mesh there would have only been a little, if any, residue. It had a smooth and silky mouth feel straight out of the blender.
 
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Here’s my version of what you made. You may notice that the pasta looks less green than what you made. There was a reason for that. The time came to add the wine, I realize I didn’t have any white wine. So, I used red wine. It still taste great.

I wasn’t able to get the onion mixture to purée without adding some of the pasta water. But, once I did, everything smoothed out. And, same as your situation, I did not need to strain.

This really is a terrific recipe. I’m looking forward to the next time I make this…with white wine.
 

medtran49

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I wasn’t able to get the onion mixture to purée without adding some of the pasta water. But, once I did, everything smoothed out. And, same as your situation, I did not need to strain.

I'm so glad you liked it! Our blender has a super speed for smoothies and purees, and I used that so maybe that was the difference.
 

medtran49

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I just got done making this for dinner through the pureeing stage. Used a spring/new onion and 1 bunch of green onions/scallions this time.

Reason I am posting is that when I was using the smoothie/puree setting on our blender, I realized it pulses itself, spins up to high for a few seconds, then stops and repeats spinning the opposite way. I had never noticed that before because I'm usually rushing to get dinner done and don't really pay attention.
 

medtran49

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Well, this was still good, but not as good as the first time using all green onions/scallions. I think the spring/new onion made it a little too sweet. It's also a much lighter green and isn't as pretty. Don't think I'll try the leek version, I'll just stick with the green onions.
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