Baby Spinach

with White Beans and Pancetta
I orginally came up with this as an accessible but different accompaniment to the Oven Roasted Pork Tenderloin recipe for Susannah. It tastes incredible, almost like a light cassoulet, and works really well with that pork recipe, as well as with Pan Seared, Oven Roasted Monkfish.

For 4


5 oz. Fresh Baby Spinach Leaves
¼ Pancetta (cut into quarter-inch cubes)
⅓ Cup Dry Vermouth
½ Cup White Wine
1 (15½ oz.) Can White Beans
1 T Olive Oil


Sauté your pancetta in sauté pan over medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 10 to 15 minutes. As you're appraoching 15 minutes, increase the heat to high, add your dry vermouth, and flame off the pan. Once the flames subside, use a wooden spoon to deglaze the bottom of the pan to get all the bits of pancetta that have stuck to the pan. Kill the heat on the pan, and welcome to your first holding pattern.

Drain and rinse your white beans. When you're feeling like you want to get along with this dish, turn the heat back up to medium under the pan with the pancetta in it, and add your olive oil and the beans to the pan. You'll want to sauté this for around 10 minutes, to heat up the beans, and to impart the flavor from the pancetta. 5 minutes in to your 10 minute, pour in your cup of white wine - this both keeps the beans from sticking to the pan, and gives the dish an extra level of flavor.

After five minutes are up, you can either kill the heat and have another drink, or you can carry on.

If you've opted for the second holding pattern, you'll need to turn the heat up to medium before the next step.

Add the spinach leaves to the pan, and using a spoon, fold them into the pancetta and bean mixture. As the leaves are exposed to the heat from the pan, they'll begin to wilt. As they're all getting close to being wilted, kill the heat so you keep the spinach nice and vibrant and green, not drab and olive-colored.

And voila. Pretty damn easy. Serve with Oven Roasted Pork Tenderloin or Pan Seared, Oven Roasted Monkfish.