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"Roast Beef, Medium, is not only a food. It is a philosophy. Seated at Life's Dining Table, with the menu of Morals before you, your eye wanders a bit over the entrées, the hors d'oeuvres, and the things à la, though you know that Roast Beef, Medium, is safe and sane, and sure."
Edna Ferber (1887-1968), U.S. author. Roast Beef, Medium, Foreword (1911)

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One Saturday afternoon I went to my local Italian shop to get some Durham wheat and Semolina to make pasta. I said to my friend, Jim, who owned the shop, that I wanted something different for dinner. He suggested I use Pancetta as the base for my sauce. So right there in the shop, we both came up with this recipe. It is one of the BEST meat flavors in the world! Be sure to get the Deli to slice the Pancetta real thick for you.

Preparation Time: 2 Hours    Serving Size: 4

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 12 ounces mushrooms, quartered
  • 1/2 cup Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1/2 pound Pancetta, sliced thick and chopped
  • 28 ounces tomatoes, canned
  • 1 sprig fresh basil, sliced into thin strips
  • black pepper
  • 2 ounces Romano cheese, shredded
  • 1 pound fresh fettuccine
Click on picture for more images.

Sauté shallot in oil until soft. Add mushrooms and cook slowly until moisture starts leaving the mushrooms; add wine. Remove from pan and set aside. Fry Pancetta SLOWLY in same pan until crisp (this WILL take a while). Add back mushroom mixture and stir. Drain tomatoes and set juice aside. Crush tomatoes by hand over the mushroom mixture and stir. Simmer 30-40 minutes, adding tomato juice as necessary to thin sauce out a bit. Do not necessarily make sauce runny, but you will notice that it tends to be too chunky to pour over pasta. After sauce has simmered and you have adjusted the consistency with the juice, add basil and black pepper. Cook 5 more minutes. Turn heat off and add the cheese. Stir and let stand 5 minutes. Taste for seasonings.

Serve with Italian bread brushed with olive oil and toasted in a 350° oven for 10 minutes.

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