We’re all in the same boat…
Trying to stay afloat amidst the busy weekdays filled with work, school, swimming lessons, rugby training, ballet classes, ….. INSERT TEXT HERE ….
… So often, there are those nights where you just need to get something quick, easy and comforting for dinner for the family (or just for yourself!) Now I love a good take away Thai as much as the rest of them, but living out of town, we don’t have the conveniences that we used to have with a large number of restaurants and fast food joints on our door step.
Just so you know too, I am not bagging a good take away for those days where you just need to collapse on the couch. I reckon that the occasional “not so good for you food” is actually “oh so good” at the same time!
This creamy bacon pasta is just the thing you need to have in your repertoire for when you’re having one of ‘those’ days however. The sauce is cooked in the same amount of time that it takes for the pasta to boil and once you get the base right – you can add any bits and pieces that you may have already in the fridge. (Think leftover roast chicken, zucchini or broccoli).
creamy bacon pasta (enough for 2 hungry adults, 2 hungry littlies + leftovers)
500 grams of pasta
6 rashers of bacon, cut in to fine lardons
10 button mushrooms, sliced thinly
Small amount of frozen peas (or thinly sliced zucchini)
300 ml of thickened cream
Freshly grated parmesan or cheddar cheese (for adding to the sauce and some extra for sprinkling on top)
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly cracked pepper
Fresh parsley if you are lucky enough to have it, but dried is fine
Grated nutmeg if you have it fresh, (or some ground nutmeg from the spice rack)
Salt, for cooking the pasta in, (make sure you don’t strain away the pasta water too)
Olive oil for frying the bacon and onion
Freshly cracked pepper
* You can also add some dried mint which goes really well with the peas, but the girls don’t go as much on it*
- Cook the pasta in salted, boiling water from the kettle in a large saucepan.
- While that is happening, in a frying pan (preferably one that is big enough for the pasta to fit in with the sauce) heat a little bit of olive oil and fry the onion, bacon and garlic together for about 8 minutes or until the bacon has browned and looks well on its way to being cooked.
- Throw in the mushrooms and frozen peas (or zucchini) here and mix around, adding a little of the pasta water to the pan to deglaze the bottom of the pan and to stop it from burning.
- Once the mushrooms have softened a little bit, add the cream and back it off to a slow simmer. Add the nutmeg, parsley, some grated cheese, salt and lots of freshly cracked pepper.
- By this stage, your pasta should be cooked or just about ready. Once you are happy with the pasta (it should still have a bite to it) strain it in to a large colander, reserving a mug full of the pasta water. (NB: I place a mug in the sink and strain the pasta over the mug).
- Work quickly here so as not to let your pasta get soggy as it will continue to cook even after its been taken off the hob. Add the pasta to your sauce (if the frying pan is big enough to hold it all) and mix it around, adding a splash of the reserved pasta water to loosen it up (always start with only a little bit of water as you can always add more if you need to).
- Serve with the grated cheese on top.
Serving suggestion: green salad + homemade garlic bread. yum yum!
- If there is one thing that can ruin a pasta dish, its by having soggy pasta. I believe that overcooking pasta is a cardinal sin!
- The girls love “cheese snow” sprinkled on any type of pasta (it basically means that you hold the grater high above the plate and let it ‘snow’). If you don’t own a microplane grater (a very fine one) than you definitely should invest. It adds a little bit of ‘theatre’ to the dining experience, which both I and the girls love.
- You really must salt the pasta water to give the pasta any flavour. Use water from a boiled kettle to get the water to heat up more quickly.
Is there any better smell than bacon, onion and garlic cooking?
We all need a good TV dinner once in a while. (Annabelle picking her mushrooms out).
If you make this pasta, I’d love for you to post a pic on Instagram and tag #los_kitchen.