For those of you unfamiliar with lardo, it is an Italian salumi from Colonnata in Tuscany. It’s cured pork back fat and it tastes delicious.
Lardo has been produced in Colonnata since roman times. The hamlet of Colonnata is famous for its marble. Traditionally lardo is cured in salt and herbs for months in cases made from the local marble.
The last time my family and I were in Tuscany we paid a visit to one of the places where lardo is produced and I brought a about a kilo home with me. It’s all gone now.
Last week I was in York and came across a deli that was selling large chunks of lardo and I had to buy some. My wife Caroline was with me who promptly slapped my belly when I mentioned it. A gigantic piece was not to be but I did purchase 300g.
I used have of it to make this recipe we tried at a restaurant while in Tuscany. It sure brought back some great food and wine memories.
If you can’t find lardo where you live, you could use pancetta or even bacon. It won’t touch this recipe but it will still be delicious.
- 500g (1lb.) Spaghetti
- 10 artichoke hearts (fresh when in season but bottled will do)
- 150g Lardo - cut into small cubes
- ½ onion - finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic - cut into slivers
- 2 large handfuls of grated fresh Parmesan cheese
- 250ml (1 cup) dry white wine
- Heat a large pan over medium high heat and throw in your lardo pieces.
- They will be begin to melt. When they do, add your chopped onion and sizzle until the onion is translucent and soft but not browned.
- Now add your garlic and fry for a further 30 seconds or so.
- Pour in the wine. When it begins to simmer, add your artichokes. If cooking fresh artichokes, you will need to simmer until they are tender and cooked through. You might need to add a little more wine.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salt water to a boil and cook your spaghetti to preferred doneness.
- Drain when ready and pour the spaghetti on top of the simmering sauce.
- Add to large handfuls of Parmesan cheese and stir the pasta into the sauce for about a minute until well coated.
- Serve immediately with a block of fresh Parmesan to grate over the top at the table.