I loooove cooking with wine. Any excuse to throw a little into my food, and I’ll take it. I always have a couple of bottles under the sink just in case my food needs a flavour punch- always a red, white, marsala, and vermouth. You never know when you need to break it out and kick things up a bit. (Same goes for desserts! I’ve always got on hand some Amaretto, Frangellico, Galliano, and Limoncello on hand. Desserts and good liquers go so well together. Seriously. Check my dairy free amaretto ice cream to see for youself :) )
Anyhow… when it comes to wine in food… that reminds me of the time I lived with one of my good friends, S. She was making some lovely indian bean sak. I leaned over the pot bubbling away on my stove, and was like, Dude, this is great stuff, but what your people food REALLY needs is a little splash of red wine, from my people food.
glug.glug.glug. (Err. cue eye rolling from S. as I kinda messed with her stew- I forgot she doesn’t do alcohol in her food – oops. Oh well, um, more sak for me?? I mean, really, do you think her family would notice that extra little kick? I swear the alcohol burns out?) I know you’re reading this right now S. and laughing at me. :) Wait till you see the PORK in this. Double bad, double bad. :)
So, ok, my people like them some wine in their food, and they like them some serious pork too. Its amazing she and I shared a kitchen :) (I would give my right arm for some of that coconut curry dude, if you are reading, in case you felt like taking orders. Just sayin. Or that chicken and spinach sak…. helloooo. :) )
Right, so, wine, and pork. For pork, I use pancetta. Pancetta is one of my go-to ingredients for boosting the flavours in a savoury recipe. It works wonders in soups. Its like bacon but much thicker, saltier, and smokier. You use alot less to get the same flavour punch. In fact, if you are curious about the process, check out my photos from the sausage-making at my zia Franca’s a little while back. Thats the Real. Deal.
On to the recipe. Hello mediterranean flavours, my old friends.
Zuchini with Pancetta, Thyme and White Wine
- 5 small zuchini, sliced in 1/2 inch rounds
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup pancetta, chopped (or you can use bacon)
- 2 tbsp plus 2 tbsp fresh thyme
- about 1/3 cup white wine
- In a deep saucepan, over medium-low heat, cook the pancetta until its softened.
- Add in the zuchini, and 2tbsp of the thyme. Turn up the heat to medium.
- Cook until the zuhini is lightly browned- make sure to stir around a bit so it all doesn’t stick.
- When cooked, remove the zchini from the pan. Turn up the heat to maximum and pour in the white wine. Let it deglaze the bottom of the pan, and boil till its half the volum (only takes a minute or two). Pour over the zuchini, and toss with the remaining fresh thyme while still hot. Salt to taste. Done!