I sleep in on most of my weekends, so I love to whip up fast and easy meals for lunch to make up for the time
lostwell-spent in recuperating my energy.
This dish can be done in less than 30 minutes and it's absolutely delicious - smoky, salty and crispy bacon with sautéed and buttery mushrooms - what's not to love about this dish?
Probably the fats I guess...
But let's worry about the fats another day, eh?
Simple ingredients - great flavour
I like to use linguine for this dish, but spaghetti works fine too. Garlic's optional, and I got pre-sliced button mushrooms because they were on sale.
In goes the bacon into a non-stick frying pan.
I rinsed the bacon to get rid of the excess salt, then snipped them directly into the frying pan with a pair of kitchen scissors.
Add in a bruised garlic.
I got the idea for this recipe from Nigella - one of my favourite chefs in the world. The dishes she cook are often fuss-free and she's always so... relaxed and composed! The recipe that I adapted was her Linguine with Garlic Oil. I watched in on TV a very long time ago and have been trying to perfect the dish since then.
Fry the bacon till it's nice and crisp, meanwhile, get a pot of water boiling.
Remove the bacon and get the mushrooms going. Cook the pasta at the same time.
Cook until the mushrooms have shrunk in size.
I think at this point some people will like to add some dry white wine into the mushrooms - it's all personal preference, but I've never added it because I never have white wine in my pantry.
Simmer until the liquid has reduced by half.
Undercook the pasta by 1 minute, drain and dump it back into the pasta pot.
In goes the bacon bits...
... And the mushrooms and all of the lovely mushroom juices. Toss and serve immediately.
Bacon and Mushrooms Pasta (serves 4)
1 garlic clove
250 grams streaky bacon
250 grams fresh button mushrooms, sliced
350 - 400 grams linguine
Dry white wine (optional)
Dried herbs (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Peel the garlic clove. Place your knife flat on top of the garlic clove and whack it (not too hard) so that the garlic is bruised but (ideally) still stays in one piece.
Fill a pasta pot with water and bring it to boil. Add in ½ tablespoon of table salt to every 1 litre of water.
Dice the bacon and place it in a non-stick frying pan with the garlic. Drizzle with a little olive oil (about 1 teaspoon) and fry the bacon on medium to medium-low heat until the bacon is nice and crispy. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Drain the bacon on a paper towel, reserving the bacon fats. Discard the garlic.
Using the same frying pan (no need to clean it), add in 1 tablespoon of bacon fats and 1 tablespoon of butter. When the butter has melted, add in the sliced button mushrooms.
By now, the water should be boiling, add in the linguine. Keep the water boiling and stir the linguine occasionally. Cook until the pasta is al dente.
Cook the mushrooms until they have reduced in size. Add in the dry white wine (about ¼ cup) if using. Simmer the mushrooms until they are tender and the mushroom juices have reduced by half. Season with a little bit of salt (do not add too much as the bacon bits are salty) and freshly ground black pepper. Add in the dried herbs if using (I used 1 teaspoon of dried basil).
The pasta should be cooked by now - reserve a cup of pasta water and drain the pasta. Return the pasta into the pasta pot and add in the bacon and mushrooms - juice and all. Spoon in one to two tablespoonfuls of bacon fats and toss everything together - adding more bacon fats or pasta water if necessary - until the whole dish is lubricated and smooth.
Notes and variations:
- When I have parsley on hand, I will just snip in a few for extra flavour and colour.
- Add in some peas / broccoli florets / asparagus into the pot of pasta water minutes before the pasta is cooked. Drain and proceed.
Happy cooking! Have a great week ahead!