We joined a cookbook book club this spring (we are about to start our 5th book, having already read:A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes From My Kitchen Table, Molly Wizenberg; The River Cottage Meat Book, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall; Jamie’s Italy, Jamie Oliver; Mexico, One Plate At A Time, Rick Bayless)
For each book we read a bit, tried out at least a few recipes and then cooked something for the group. Several of the recipes have become staples and a couple have totally altered the way we eat. The best example is my now semi-monthly preparation of salt pork. Every couple of weeks i get a pork belly and cure it with a salt rub (courtesy of Hugh). So far I have not been organized enough to smoke it so that it would be true bacon, or patient enough to give it a long cure so that it no longer needs refrigeration.
Having a homemade style pancetta means that I also regularly I make a variation on Jamie’s cream based bacon and pea pasta. So yummy. The fresher the ingredients the better it tastes. Tonight we made it with homemade salt pork, fresh peas, farm fresh eggs, and homemade pasta–it was delicious! But even when the pasta is dry, the peas frozen, and the bacon store bought its still pretty good.