Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Penne with Grilled Pheasant, Wild Mushrooms, Sweet Onions, Pancetta and Five Cheeses

This recipe is a bit more of an adventure. I fused a bunch of flavors into a pasta dish that rocked in the end. It is a bit more of a challenge..timing wise.. but a fun dish to try out. Let me know if you like it.

Here is how:
1. Trim 2 pheasant breasts of any fat and lightly brush the meat with some extra virgin olive oil. Season the meat with salt and freshly ground black pepper as well.

2. Prepare 8 oz. of wild mushrooms by removing the stems and scraping out the black gills. Brush the mushrooms with extra virgin olive oil and season them with salt and pepper as well.

3. Prepare your grill (I used a charcoal grill for the flavor with this dish) and grill the pheasant over direct medium heat for about 10 minutes, turning once. Set the pheasant aside.

4. Take a "grill proof" skillet (I like cast iron) and drizzle with with 2 Tbs. of olive oil. Place 8 oz of cubed pancetta  (Boar's Head is gluten free) in the skillet and place it on the grill over direct medium-high heat.

5. When the pancetta starts to brown, add 1 medium vidalia onion (chopped), the mushrooms and  2 Tbs. of fresh thyme to the pan. Stir the mixture occasionally.

6. Once the mushrooms and onions start to brown (about 5 minutes)..add 2 cloves of minced garlic and 1/2 tsp. of crushed red pepper flakes. Grill for about 1 minute, stirring constantly.

7. Next add 1/2 cup of red wine (I used a Cabernet-Merlot) and cook until the wine has reduced and almost all of the liquid has evaporated,

8. Next, add 1 cup of gluten free chicken stock, 1 large tomato (diced), 1/2 tsp. dried oregano and salt/ pepper to taste.

9. Bring the "sauce" to a boil and then simmer on the grill (move to indirect heat) for 5 minutes.

10. While the sauce is simmering, cook a pound of gluten free penne pasta (I used Tinkyada brand) according to the directions. You want the pasta "al dente" (firm yet cooked) for the optimal texture. Once the pasta is cooked...drain it.

11. Grill 4 slices of gluten free bread that has been topped with olive oil, oregano and garlic powder over indirect heat for about 1 minute per side. Take the bread off and cube it to resemble "croutons".

12. Place the pasta in a large pasta bowl and add:
- the pheasant (that has been torn into bite size pieces)
- the pancetta "sauce"
- 8 oz. of torn fresh mozzarella
- 1 oz. each of shredded: asiago, fontina, parmesan and provolone cheeses
- 4 Tbs. of chopped fresh basil
- Salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

13. Toss the pasta..gently (gluten free pasta is more delicate by nature) and serve with a glass of good red wine if you wish.

Here is to gluten free cooking with some outdoor adventure style! xo

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