Recipe. You Won't Want to Miss This!
Pasta with Bacon, Mushrooms, Peas and Cheese
As the cold weather approaches, a hearty pasta dish can be a quick-to-prepare complete dinner. This one was originally improvised when there wasn’t much in the fridge, but it has turned out to be a delicious favorite.
1 lb. short whole wheat pasta, such as orecchiette or ziti
¼ lb. good, lean bacon, cut in matchsticks (I prefer 8 Hands Farm locally-cured)
1 small onion, finely chopped
8 oz. crimini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 can LeSueur small peas, drained
1 cup or more, Parmesan cheese, grated
freshly ground black pepper
In a large saucepan, sauté the bacon in a couple of tablespoons olive oil until it starts to release fat and get slightly crisp. Add the onion and let soften. Add mushrooms, cover the pan and continue cooking until the mushrooms have released their liquid. (Optional: add a splash of Madeira or Marsala to add roundness to the sauce.) Add the peas and allow to heat through. Keep warm on low heat.
In the meantime, in a large pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil with a pinch of salt. Cook the pasta until al dente which can take from 10-12 minutes, depending on brand and shape. When done drain the pasta, saving about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
Add the cooked pasta to the pan containing the sauce along with enough of the reserved pasta water to loosen the mixture, if necessary. Now add the cheese and lots of black pepper and mix thoroughly. Pour into a serving dish and serve immediately.
With a simple green salad, this is a complete meal for a cold night. A glass of light red wine will add to the warmth.
Serves 4-6 depending on appetites. It is a rich dish.