Saturday, 21 June 2014

Pasta with Bacon & Mushroom Sauce

Want a quick and delicious dinner idea? This is one of my 'go to' recipes - the simple sauce can easily be prepared in the time it takes the pasta to cook, so you can get a meal on the table in less than 20 minutes and it tastes great!

For 4 large servings:

400g short pasta (eg spirals or penne)
200g bacon
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
200g button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 tsp each dried oregano and thyme
1/4 cup chicken stock or white wine
1/2 cup cream
salt and pepper to taste

Put on a large pot of water for the pasta. Prepare the sauce while waiting for the water to boil and the pasta to cook.

Cut the bacon crossways into 1cm strips. Heat the oil in a large pan, then cook the bacon until it is brown and turning crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and set it aside to drain on paper towels.

Pour any excess fat from the pan (leaving about 2 tablespoons) and add the diced onion. Sauté until the onion is soft and clear, then tip in the sliced mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until these are barely softened.

Add the herbs and the stock or wine. Simmer over a moderate heat for 2 minutes, then add the cream. Increase the heat so the sauce is boiling vigorously and cook for another two minutes, stirring frequently, to allow the sauce to reduce down and thicken a little.

Drain the pasta as soon as it is cooked, then return it to the pot and add the sauce. Stir to mix thoroughly.

Leave to stand for one to two minutes, then serve topped with some chopped fresh parsley and/or freshly grated Parmesan.

Add 1-2 cups of small broccoli florets to the pan with the mushrooms or add 1 cup of thawed (run under hot water for 30 seconds) frozen peas with the cream.

Photography: Lindsay Keats Photography

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