Mrs. Jackson Cooks

Life through food

Pasta fabulousness

on December 16, 2010

I have to say, this is one of my favourite recipes to make when I’ve had a bad day at work, or I’m feeling a bit miserable.  It’s the perfect pick me up.  The original recipe is Ravinder Bhogal’s (who else’s?!) from Cook in Boots but I’ve altered it, mostly because I can’t be bothered to turn the oven on and roast garlic for half an hour first!

But I’m sure if you could be bothered it would be delicious.  Basically, roast a whole bulb of garlic in its shell for 30 minutes in a hot oven and then squeeze the goo from the roasted garlic into the mixture just before you add the creme fraiche.

But even without it its totally fabulous.  Probably due to the bacon and the mushrooms.  It’s all that umami you see.  Its this weird substance scientists in Japan discovered in certain foods.  It enhances flavour and brings out your endorphins.  And mushrooms have it.  Along with marmite, bacon, beef broth, MSG etc.  And garlic is great too.  I know, it makes your breath smell, but really it tastes fabulous in food and boosts your immune system when you’re feeling ill (or even when you’re not).

Anyway, if you want to know more about umami, here’s the wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umami

And if you don’t care about umami but want to cook this delicious dish, then here’s the recipe.

Bacon and mushroom creamy pasta

Serves 2

150g pasta shapes (your choice!)

1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic finely chopped (and yes you do want to keep this in if you’re roasting garlic – the original recipe has both)

100g pancetta or streaky bacon (or whatever bacon you have), chopped

200g chestnut mushrooms (or whatever you can find – button or closed up are good too), chopped

2 tbsp low fat creme fraiche

pepper

grated parmesan to serve

  1. Boil the pasta according to the packet instructions and to how you like it.  Drain and reserve
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan, and fry the onion, garlic and bacon together on a medium-high heat until browned and crispy.
  3. Add the mushrooms to the pan and continue frying until golden brown
  4. Turn down the heat to low, add the creme fraiche along with a generous helping of pepper (no need for salt as bacon is salty).  Stir until the creme fraiche is well combined with the bacon and mushroom mix.
  5. Add the pasta to the pan and stir well to coat in the mixture.
  6. Take off the heat and serve with parmesan cheese sprinkled over the top.
  7. Eat immediately and feel your worries slip away
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