cooking with jenny: pancetta pasta and marinated flank steak

INTRODUCTION Jenny and I met at a blogger dinner in Boston's Back Bay last fall. After a brief chat, I learned that she is not only a successful businesswoman and mother to super adorable daughter Bailey, but she also founded a popular Instagram and blog site Chocolate and LaceJenny's blog (titled 'The Weekend Blog') covers a wide variety of topics like lifestyle and fashion, motherhood, food, and home cooking. 

Since Jenny is such an amazing cook and personal friend, I thought it would be fitting to share with you my two favorite recipes from her repitoire: Spicy Pancetta Pasta & Marinated Flank Steak. She notes that both recipes are quick to whip up and downright delicious. What more could you want!

For more recipes and posts from Jenny, visit her blog or follow her on Instagram



½ Cup Pancetta, cubed

2 tablespoons EVOO

2 cups fresh baby spinach

1 small shallot, diced

1 small red or green pepper, minced

1 cup Shiitake mushrooms, sliced

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ Lemon, juice squeezed

1 lb of your favorite pasta, Spaghetti Rigate shown here

5 cups chicken broth

Parmesan cheese for topping, shredded

Salt and Pepper to taste


1. Heat a large and deep skillet over medium high heat with one tablespoon EVOO around the pan.

2. When skillet is hot, add in pancetta and brown.

3. Add in mushrooms and toss to coat with oil.

4. Add in shallot, pepper and dried pepper. Add in cayenne pepper a little at a time and add more into to adjust to your preference of heat!

5. Once browned and sautéed, scrape mixture into bowl and set aside.

6. In the same skillet ensure heat is at high and bring chicken broth to a boil.

7. Once boiling add in pasta and cook per directions minus two minutes.

8. Add in spinach and cook until pasta is al dente and spinach is wilted. About 2 minutes.

9. Pour back in pancetta mixture and toss.

10. Allow to cook until broth is reduced. Cover if needed to speed along.

11. Once cooked, sauce should be creamy.

12. Remove from heat.

13. Place pasta in a large dish and squeeze lemon juice, 1 tablespoon EVOO over and toss.

14. Salt and pepper to taste. *NOTE the pancetta and chicken broth will already have this dish on the saltier side. Salt with caution.

15. Serve immediately and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.





½ lb Brussel Sprouts, sliced in half


2 TBSP balsamic vinegar

2 TBSP honey

Salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat over to 425 degrees.

2. In a large mixing bowl evenly toss the Brussel sprouts with 1 TBSP EVOO until coated. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Transfer to a roasting pan or baking sheet.

4. Roast for 20 mins.

5. While brussels are roasting, whisk together EVOO, balsamic vinegar and honey.

6. Remove Brussels from oven and place in large mixing bowl. Cover with honey vinegar mixture and toss until evenly coated.

7. Place back in the oven for 5 more minutes.

8. Remove from oven and serve hot.