Pennoni with Jerusalem Artichokes Cream and Crunchy Pancetta


Do you like the Jerusalem artichoke, also known as topinambour? I do like it 🙂

Honestly, I have to say that until I lived in Italy I never ate this interesting root vegetable, but although I already heard about it and I also saw it in the italian vegetable stores, I discovered its taste only here in Hungary.

To a certain extent its taste it’s a bit similar to the artichoke, and given that here it’s not always easy to find fresh artichokes I began to use this vegetable 🙂 but it’s absolutely not a second-best choice but an interesting alternative to add that specific taste 🙂 and I think that it matches very well with the pancetta/bacon, like in this case.

For this recipe I used Pennoni di Gragnano IGP, which added extra pleasure to the chewing thanks to their tenacity and texture, but of course you can use other types of pasta too, for example penne, paccheri, mezzi paccheri or rigatoni are also good choices.

And I used pancetta, not smoked, because I didn’t want to cover the Jerusalem artichoke taste with the smoked note. So I suggest to use a pancetta or bacon which is not smoked, but in the case you cannot find it then try to choose one which is smoked as less as possible.

Let’s see how to make this very tasty pasta 🙂

INGREDIENTS (4 people):

  • 360/400 g of pasta (as explained above)
  • 300 g of Jerusalem artichokes (measure the weight after you have peeled them)
  • 1 onion (white or golden), or shallots
  • 80/100 g of pancetta or bacon, preferably not smoked
  • 1 bag of saffron
  • vegetable stock (or just hot water)
  • extra virgin olive oil (4 tablespoons about)
  • parsley
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • salt
  1. First of all, if you have some remaining vegetable stock in your freezer/fridge, heat it up in a pot, or prepare it if you would like. But we need just a little bit, so if you don’t have you can also just use some hot water.
  2. Now, after you peeled the Jerusalem artichokes cut them into small dice, and cut also the onion/shallot into small pieces.
  3. Take a larger pan, heat the extra virgin olive oil and then add first the onion/shallot, and when this is softer add the Jerusalem artichoke dice, and let it cook at medium heat for about 15 minutes or so, and keep it moved. Sometimes add a little bit of boiling water (the one in which you will boil the pasta for example) or vegetable stock. Then in a glass put the saffron with a little bit of vegetable stock or just hot water, to release its taste and color.
  4. Now cut the pancetta into thin slices, but not too small, and cook it until crunchy in another pan. Cook it at medium/high heat at the beginning, but then let it cook at low heat in its fat, until it’s crunchy (but don’t burn it!).
  5. When you see that the Jerusalem artichokes are almost ready, put the pasta to boil in a pot where there is already salted boiling water.
  6. Once the Jerusalem artichokes are ready, put them in a cylindrical container and make a cream by using an immersion blender. Add also the liquid with the saffron and season with some freshly ground black pepper and salt, at your taste. The cream has not to be thick, so if you need add also some ladles of hot water from the pasta pot, the starch in it will be good for the cream.
  7. Once you obtained a smooth cream, put it back in the pan and keep it at low heat until the pasta is ready. If needed add some water/stock.
  8. When the pasta is ready (about one minute before the time written on the package), drain it and drop it in the sauce, set the heat on medium and mix everything for about 1 minute until the cream is perfectly distributed on every piece of pasta, maybe adding a little bit more water, if needed. As I said the sauce has to be creamy at the right point, not too much thick and heavy.
  9. Add the crunchy pancetta and some freshly chopped parsley, and mix a last time all together.
  10. Serve it, add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and enjoy 🙂 if you want you can add also a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, or Pecorino.

The tenacity of a good pasta, the lightness of the cream, the crunchiness of the pancetta and this nice mix of tastes make together every bite a perfect and very pleasant bite! I’m sure you will agree 🙂


Products used:

Pasta: pennoni from Pastificio Gentile





Pennoni tészta csicsóka krémmel és ropogós pancettával

Hozzávalók ( 4 személyre):

  • 360/400 g tészta
  • 300 g csicsóka (tisztított)
  • 1 vöröshagyma
  • 80/100 g pancetta ( lehetőleg ne füstölt)
  • sáfrány
  • zöldségleves ( vagy ha nincs akkor csak forró víz)
  • extra szűz olívaolaj
  • petrezselyem
  • frissen őrölt bors
  1. Először készítsd el a zöldséglevest. Kis mennyiség kell, tehát ha nincs, akkor forró víz is megteszi.
  2. Miután megpucoltad a csicsókát, vágd apró kockákra.
  3. Egy kis olívaolajon a hagymát megdinszteljük, majd a csicsókát is hozzáadjuk. Öntsd hozzá a zöldséglevest. Kb. 15 perc alatt elkészül.
  4. Közben vágd fel szeletekre a pancettát és süsd ropogósra.
  5. Amikor a csicsóka majdnem kész, akkor forró vízben kifőzzük a tésztát.
  6. A csicsókát leturmixoljuk és hozzáadjuk a sáfrányt, egy kis őrölt borsot valamint sót.
  7. Amint szép selymes a krémünk, visszaöntjük a serpenyőbe és ha szükséges még egy kis levest adunk hozzá ( vagy akár a tészta forró vizéből is lehet)
  8. Még mielőtt a tészta elkészülne, szűrjük le és öntsük a csicsóka krémhez.
  9. Keverd hozzá a pancettát és a petrezselymet.
  10. Extra szűz olívaolajjal locsold meg a tetejét és ha szeretnél reszelj a tetejére egy kis Parmigiano Reggiano-t vagy Pecorino sajtot.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Rowena says:

    Interestingly enough, topinambur always reminds me of Piedmont’s bagna cauda. It is not one of my favorite vegetables, but I do appreciate any dish that includes it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it’s used also in bagna cauda 🙂


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