Bacon and Mushroom Penne…

For a quick dinner the other night I tossed together some mushrooms, bacon, pasta, and a delicious sauce.  We are used to pasta drenched in sauce, so much that we slurp pasta sometimes. However, in Italy, it is the opposite. Pasta is the focus of the dish, not the sauce. Of course, everyone there most likely makes their own pasta. Nevertheless, I wanted a dinner that would go down easy without the mess.  The result was a great almost clams casino-like pasta, without the clams.

I don’t have to tell you that bacon and mushrooms go together do I? I sure hope not. White wine goes with mushrooms.  Cream goes with white wine in sauces.  Hmm, let’s see what we can think of.

Some people are intimidated by making sauces, although you shouldn’t be.  Sauces are great because they can  be fixed later (unless something catastrophic happens). This sauce will use the remnants of the mushrooms and bacon with shallots, wine, some cream, and Parmesan.  Can’t screw that up.  Just remember to salt LAST! Oversalting it will ruin it (technically it can be fixed, but whatever).

As it bubbles away, the aroma makes me wanna jump right in! But no, that would yield quite a burn, possibly second degree.

Top it with more Parmesan (like bacon, you can never have too much) and a slice of garlic bread and you’ve got a quick yummy dinner. I made this on the fly, so my measurements are estimated below.

If you want more substance, add shrimp, clams, or chunks of fish.

Bacon and Mushroom Penne

4 cups penne
6-8 slices bacon (2 per person here)
1 container mushrooms, sliced (12 oz)
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup Parmesan, plus more for topping
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

Boil the pasta till al dente and keep warm tossed in some olive oil to prevent sticking.

In a saute pan over medium high heat, add oil.  When shimmering, add shallot.  Cook for 2 minutes until browned, then add garlic.  Stir for about 30 seconds, then add mushrooms. Let them sit so they brown and saute. Cook for about 5 minutes until nicely browned.  Add wine to deglaze pan, scraping up any bits stuck to pan bottom. Let it bubble up for a minute or so then add the cream. Mix well and reduce a few minutes to thicken. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. Lastly, add cheese and mix well.  Serve warm with more cheese of course!

*next up…Dulce de Leche…*


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