Wednesday, May 4, 2016
It was time to go visit our good friend the butcher; Angelo Ibierto. We always have a good time when we make the journey to Angelo's for meat products. Once Angelo gave me a pig jowel to cure at home. Ms. Goofy was not to thrilled about this adventure. Read Here. I asked Angelo if he had any guanciale and this is what he gave me. For those of you not familiar with guanciale it is; a pig jowl that has been cured with salt and spices and air dried. Let me emphasis that this product has not been smoked like bacon. It is very similar to pancetta. The difference is the flavor. Guanciale is richer and has a luscious mouth feel when eaten. It can be eaten raw as a anti-pasta or cooked and rendered like a bacon. We are going to make a simple dish of raviolis, cream, cheese and guanciale.
The guanciale was cut into thick strips and cubed. This small slab looked beautiful. The cubes were fried to crisp and render its love (fat). The aroma emited from the rendering cured jowl was unique. This recipe is simple. The crisp guanciale cubes were reserved. We left a small amount of rendered fat in the hot pan. We added a small amount of cream and seasoned with salt and pepper. Cooked hot raviolis were added to this mixture. We stirred in a large amount of Parmesan cheese and the guanciale cubes. We turned off the heat and stired until the raviolis were coated and the cheese had melted. We plated immediately.
I personally love this dish. Guanciale has a special flavor and texture. When you bite into the rendered cubes of meat there still is a lusciousness from the guanciale love. The meat is flavorful and spicy. Guanciale is not bacon but has qualities that are similar. Combining this with cream and cheese makes for one decadent ravioli dish. Thankfully, Ms. Goofy was not as traumatized as her last guanciale experience. Thankyou Angelo.