Lately I’ve been researching some different healthy grains to make recipes for and I came across Israeli Couscous in the grocery store. My parents always used to make this with our dinners when I was younger and it was always sooooo good! I had some leftover pancetta from my brussels sprouts that I needed to use so I decided to test out this combo. I knew the pancetta would add a nice meaty flavor, but I wanted to lighten the dish up since the weather is getting warmer. I decided to add some sun-dried tomatoes- their sweetness and vibrant color contribute to the flavor of dish!
I didn’t research any other recipes for this dish so I just estimated and experimented while creating this recipe. Since couscous doesn’t have much flavor on its own, I had to do a little more heavy seasoning than normal. Luckily, pancetta and sun-dried tomatoes really pack a punch when it comes to flavor. I also think they really complimented each other in the end! I like this as a summer dish because the couscous is light, but the pancetta adds some body and protein while the sun-dried tomatoes sweeten it up a bit.
I love garlic more than any other seasoning in the world, so when adding olive oil I used garlic flavored to give the dish a more intense flavor. I only had dried basil at the time (my basil plant has taken some abuse lately), but fresh basil would really be great. The oregano was an awesome addition because it gave the dish a light and fresh taste. When adding salt and pepper, I just tasted the couscous a few times till I got the perfect amount!
This recipe turned out great and was easy to make as well. It also keeps well so it makes for great leftovers. It can be made as a side or a meal! This recipe makes about 2 side servings!
-2 cups israeli couscous (cooked)
-1/3 cup diced pancetta
-1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (julienned cut)
-2 tsp olive oil (I used garlic flavored)
-1.5 tsp minced garlic (3 cloves)
-2 tsp dried oregano
-2 tsp dried basil
-salt & pepper (to taste)
In a large pot cook a package of couscous according to the box directions. In a smaller skillet sauté the diced pancetta until fully cooked. Once the couscous is ready, scoop out 2 cups and put it into a separate mixing bowl. Add your cooked pancetta and sun-dried tomatoes and mix well. Drizzle 2 tsp of olive oil over the mixture (I used garlic flavored), then add the minced garlic, dried oregano, and dried basil. Mix evenly then salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy hot or cold!