Creamy mushroom and bacon pasta

… one of the best combinations ever! Simple comfort goodness of mouth-watering food. The key to this yummy dish is quality ingredients (as always), so make sure to buy the best bacon and don’t forget some outstanding mushrooms.

This is no low-cal dish, however, healthy substitutes are always a possibility, like whole-wheat pasta or light cooking cream. Turkey bacon is not an option; please cook the real deal.

First of all, and the most crucial step, is the sauce. No simple matter of engaging cream with sautéed mushrooms, it’s all about blending the ingredients together, nonetheless, a simple technique that makes all the difference. Just blend the mix and, well, that’s it. Nothing like enhancing flavours by grinding and destroying food’s cells.

First step: fry the bacon. Now this will get you going! Nothing fancy about this process, just pure maillard bacon smell.

Second step: Take the bacon out of the pan and cut it into pieces (not microscopic). Oh, and try not to eat it all while you complete the following steps. Or just make some extra, in case you can’t help yourself from nibbling.

Third step: Add some olive oil (if previously cooked bacon is not too fatty), chopped onion and let fry. Add slivered fresh garlic and a bay leaf. Fry some more. Add mushrooms, fry for 5 minutes and deglaze with white wine (I use dry Sherry).

Fourth step: Separate half of the mushroom mix.

Fifth step: Add cream to the mixture left in the pan. For those who are lactose intolerant, don’t panic! Soy cream is an excellent substitute. I find it quite enjoyable to cook with. Allow the sauce to heat through, never boil.

Sixth step: Blend what is in the pan, but don’t forget to take the bay leaf out first!

Seventh step: Stir in butter, the remaining mushrooms, a pinch of salt (if needed) and freshly ground pepper. Take off the burner, add some delightful cheese (my favourite is cheddar, Roquefort or parmegiano) and more cream until desired consistency. Mix everything with the pasta.

By Megan Melling
Megan Melling’s journey into the food world started three years ago when she decided to enrol in Cookery and Food Production in Portugal. She was born American, but grew up in the Algarve, so she gets the best of two opposite culinary cultures. She is currently working as a cook in Lisbon and documenting all of her personal recipes on her blog