Spaghettini con Speck

The delicate flavor of the smoky speck and the sweet, earthy flavors of the chanterelle mushrooms create a savory sauce perfect for a cold night.Speck is a full-favored, cured, cold smoked ham similar to prosciutto with a subtly smoky flavor available at specialty meat or Italian markets.

3 pounds Barilla Spaghettini
12 ounces speck
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1-1/2 pounds Chantrelle mushrooms, cut into bit-size pieces
4 ounces butter
2 quarts heavy cream
12 ounces shredded fontina cheese
12 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 cup Grappa
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
3/4 cup loosely packed micro watercress
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
  1. Bring salted water to boil in steam-jacketed kettle or large stockpot on stovetop. Add pasta; cook 1 min. less directed on package.
  2. Arrange speck in a single layer on sheet pan. Bake 20-25 min. at 350°F standard oven until crisp. Drain on paper towels; cool. Place in work bowl of food processor; pulse until coarsely ground.
  3. Meanwhile heat oil in rondeau on medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; cook 8-10 min. until deep golden brown and all moisture is evaporated.
  4. Melt butter in large saucepan on medium heat. Stir in heavy cream; bring to a simmer. Add cheeses 1 cup at a time; whisking slowly and ensuring cheese has melted before next addition. Reduce heat to medium-low; carefully whisk in Grappa. Remove pan from heat; season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Combine pasta and sauce; toss to coat.
  6. Garnish with speck, mushrooms, micro watercress and olive oil before serving.