Monday, July 21, 2008

Fusilli in a Garlic Pancetta and Mushroom Cream Sauce

I had planned on blogging last Thursday night, but I came home to an unexpected surprise.

I probably don't have to tell you that gluing a walk-in closet's shelves to the walls and then reinforcing them with a few thin nails would probably be a bad idea. I guess my landlords didn't get that particular message, though, because when I got home, my closet looked like this:

My poor cookbooks! I expected to see a ton of screw holes in the wall... uh, no. Just a bunch of paint ripped off from the dried glue that, obviously, was never supposed to be used to hold up closet shelves. The closet has been repaired (sort of), so now I'm back in my bedroom and ready to blog.

My boyfriend bought me an early birthday present this weekend: a Cuisinart Chef's Classic 3-qt saucepan. Other than my cast iron dutch oven, I don't have a heavy-bottomed or non-stick pan, so this was sorely needed. Since he's so wonderful, he gave it to me almost two months early. We put it to good use right away and made a yummy pasta dish for dinner tonight.

Since I started blogging, I've been more inclined to cook without a recipe, and this pasta is probably my favourite invention so far. It's sort of like a carbonara sauce, but without the egg yolk.

Pasta in a Garlic, Pancetta and Mushroom Cream Sauce
Serves 2 (big portions)
250g pasta (we just used up what I had on hand, but anything that catches the sauce is perfect -- fusilli, penne, rotini, etc.)

1/3 cup diced pancetta
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
1/3 cup heavy cream (you can always add more or less)
1 tbsp minced garlic (we love garlic, but feel free to use less)
1/2 cup white wine
1 shallot, minced
2 tbsp reserved pasta cooking water

Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions. When draining pasta, reserve 2 tbsp. of the cooking water.

Meanwhile, heat a splash of olive oil over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add pancetta and mushrooms and saute until slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and shallots and cook 2-3 minutes more, until the garlic is slightly browned and the shallots are tender. Pour in white wine and bring to a low boil. Cook until the alcohol has evaporated and the sauce has thickened slightly--about 5 minutes. Add reserved 2 tbsp. of pasta cooking water to pan and cook for 1 minute more. Stir in cream.

Stir in salt, pepper, and Parmiggiano-Reggiano to taste. Add pasta to sauce and toss to combine. Serve with extra Parmiggiano-Reggiano.


Parker July 21, 2008 at 1:35:00 PM EDT  

Very nice looking pasta, and when it is your own creation it is always a good feeling. I have never trying a sauce like this it sounds nice and creamy.

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