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Summertime Couscous
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  • CourseMain Dish, Salad
  • 1/2 lb Israeli couscous (or other dry pasta)
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 rounds pancetta
  • 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 lb green beans
  • 1 pinch sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup oil-cured olives
  • 1 small garlic clove or shallot
  • 1/2 ball hand-pulled mozzarella
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/4 cup parsley, basil, or cilantro leaves
  1. Bring 4 qts. of cold water to a vigorous boil; add 2 Tbs. sea salt. When water returns to boil, boil pasta, uncovered, until done to your taste. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat a small, heavy skillet on medium-high; when heated, add olive oil. When it shimmers, add pancetta, chopped into small pieces. Fry until semi-crispy. Pour pancetta and its fat over the pasta.
  3. Tip each bean and cut it crosswise in half on a steep diagonal.
  4. Reheat skillet on medium; when heated, add ½ Tbs. olive oil, wait till it shimmers, and then add green beans. Turn beans to coat them in oil; cook until their texture suits you. Salt lightly, add a bit of freshly ground pepper, and add to bowl of pasta.
  5. Halve olives; mince garlic or shallot; pull apart or cube mozzarella; add all to the bowl.
  6. Just before serving, squeeze the juice of half a small lemon over the pasta and sprinkle with your choice of herbs. Use your clean hands to gently mix all of the ingredients in the bowl.
Recipe Notes

The flavor of this dish is at its best when served at room temperature.

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