Pasta with Onions, Leeks, Zucchini, and Pancetta

Tonight's recipe was inspired by a recipe by Marcella Hazan. She has a recipe for Smothered Onion Sauce. I made a couple of changes to fit my pantry.

I used red onion and leeks. I added the zucchini because, unlike our God Daughter Elenora, we like zucchini. And the pancetta was added because it was in the fridge. I was going to use white wine in the sauce but I had no white wine. I know I was as shocked as you are. I had cooking sherry. So in the recipe feel free to use sherry where wine is listed.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, sliced very thin
1 leek, sliced thin
1 zucchini, sliced thin
4 oz. diced pancetta
black pepper
1⁄2 cup dry white wine (I did not have white wine, what the heck!!! I used cooking sherry)
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1⁄3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 lb. linguine

Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan Add the pancetta. Cook the pancetta until it begins to crisp. Add the onions to the pan. Cook until the onions become soft. 

Add the leeks and zucchini. Saute until the zucchini begins to soften. Add liberal grindings of pepper. Taste and correct for salt. 

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package and save the pasta water!

Add the wine, turn the heat up, and stir frequently while the wine bubbles away. Add the parsley, stir thoroughly. Add the cooked drained pasta to the saute pan along with some of the grated Parmesan. Add pasta water to the pan to make a sauce. Add a 1/4 cup at a time as needed. Add the rest of the cheese. As you toss, separate the onion strands somewhat to distribute them as much as possible throughout the pasta. Serve immediately.


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