Food Hunter's Guide to Cuisine: Tagliatelle with Pancetta & Parsnips adapted from The Babbo Cookbook

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tagliatelle with Pancetta & Parsnips adapted from The Babbo Cookbook

You probably don’t know this about me but up until a month ago I didn’t own a copy of Mario Batali’s Babbo cookbook and I don’t even have a good reason why not. Batali is one of my favorite chefs…Babbo one of my favorite restaurants....How did I not have this cookbook?

Well I’m happy to report that the situation has been rectified and I’m now the proud owner of the Babbo cookbook. My first venture into this new book had me cooking an adapted version of Black Pepper Tagliatelle with Parsnips and Pancetta. I say adapted because somehow when making the pasta I forgot to add the black pepper to my dough. So my version is sans the black pepper pasta. Still fresh and still delicious.

I can probably guess what you’re thinking at this point…”With all of the recipes in that book why the heck would I choose one with parsnips?” And you’re right “why would I“…geez I’m not sure I ever even had parsnips before. But remember the other ingredients are pancetta and pasta; both of which I love.

How would I describe this dish...well the sweetness of the parsnips combined with the saltiness of the pancetta tossed with fresh pasta was a match made in heaven.  Try it for yourself and let me know what you think.

Tagliatelle with Pancetta and Parsnips
(adapted from Babbo Cookbook)


•1 lb Tagliatelle (homemade or store bought)
•1/4 pound pancetta, or good quality bacon, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
•1 tablespoon unsalted butter
•1/2 pound parsnips, peeled, halved, and cut into 1/4-inch half moons (omit the thickest part of the ends)
•Freshly ground black pepper
•1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped to yield 1/4 cup
•Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving


In a 12 to 14-inch saute pan, cook the pancetta over high heat until it is browned and the fat has been rendered, about 10 minutes. Add the butter and parsnips and saute over high heat without shaking the pan too much until they are golden brown and slightly crispy, 5 to 6 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper, add the parsley, and cook 1 minute longer.

Cook the tagliatelle in boiling water until tender yet al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving some of the cooking water, and add the pasta to the pan with the pancetta and the parsnips. Toss over high heat to coat the pasta, adding pasta cooking water if necessary to keep the sauce form getting too tight. Divide equally among 4 heated pasta bowls, grate Parmigiano-Reggiano over the top of each bowl, and serve immediately.

***I'm submitting this to Presto Pasta Nights hosted this week by Pia of Cook Healthy. Stop by on Friday to check out all of the delicious pasta dishes. ***


  1. I am quite ashamed to say that even though I LOVE batali, I've never been to Babbo and I don't own the Babbo cookbook! i feel like such a failure.

    This pasta sounds AMAZING. I had parsnips for the first time this week and loved them! Definitely bookmarking this.

  2. Looks delicious! Tagliatelle is one of my favorite pastas.

  3. I'm thinking this is dinner tonight, and I'm thinking its your fault, LOL... looks fab!

  4. Janet (LaDue sent me here to see this, and whoo-happy she did. This looks amazing! We adore parsnips, but I've never though to have them with pasta. Ever! Must fix this.

  5. This pasta looks so fresh! I have never had a pasta with parsnips but I love them.

  6. Mario Batali is one of my favorite chefs too! never been to Babbo but would so enjoy a visit. The pasta looks amazing. Will let you know how it turns out!!

  7. I think the combination sounds awesome and I can't wait to give it a try. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

    I hope you and all your friends will join us for the big fourth birthday bash in two weeks (March 4) I'll be hosting

  8. My mom adore parsnips...she will just love this recipe! I also adore Mario, and I need to get my hands on his book. Thank you for sharing with me tonight! I hope you have a great weekend, my dear.

  9. I have that cookbook, and love his way with food. One day I'll get to NY and eat at Babbo..:) Haven't tried this dish and that will change soon.

  10. This looks great! I'll have to try it!

  11. Yum! I love anything (read: ANYTHING) with pancetta. Ok, fine, I like anything with pasta too! This looks fantastic!

  12. This sounds so good! I love parsnips, and pancetta! Never thought of combining them.

  13. I used to work at Babbo! And oddly enough I don't have the cookbook... Need to remedy that! This looks delicious, I love the combo of ingredients. Thanks again for linking up at my pasta blog hop! Pinned :-)