Creamy Pancetta Mushroom Pasta

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While I was working very hard today at school, I was also thinking about what I was going to make for dinner. I’ve been a little lazy lately and haven’t been cooking as much.  Ok, I haven’t been cooking at all.

Yesterday I bought some lovely cremini mushrooms and grape tomatoes (oh, how I LOVE those) and decided I was going to make a creamy meatless pasta and bruschetta for a side dish.  Today as I was driving home, I remembered that I had a chunk of pancetta hanging out in my freezer calling my name.  What?  Your bacon doesn’t do that? (I think you need better bacon.)

This is an original creation, so of course it needs a little tweaking and one day I’ll actually write down ingredient measurements. Here’s what I did. (recipe will be repeated at the end of the post)

1 medium onion thinly sliced in rings

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2 large cloves of garlic, minced (this is also the garlic I used for the bruschetta, so it’s more than 2 large cloves)

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small chunk of pancetta (I would have put more in if I had a bigger piece) finly chopped

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Heat a little olive oil (maybe 1T) in a large saute pan and cook pancetta until crispy.  Remove from oil and drain on a paper towel.

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Add onions and garlic to pan drippings and cook slowly until transluscent and tender.  Remove from pan.

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Add a little more olive oil and then saute mushrooms until browned.

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Add a little more olive oil (if there are a lot of pan drippings from the pancetta, you do not need to add the oil to the above steps) and sprinkle in an equal amount of flour.
I used about 1 1/2 tablespoons of flour.  Cook the roux until it’s thickened, but don’t let it turn brown.

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Slowly add in the half and half (you could also use chicken stock and regular milk) and stir until thickened.  This may take  a few minutes and you may continue to add milk or your pasta liquid to thin it out.  At this time, season with salt and pepper and add the pinch of nutmeg.

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Add the pancetta, onions, garlic and mushrooms back into the sauce and mix to combine.  Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

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Cook pasta according to directions (take out a little early…it will continue to cook in the sauce.  Mix into the creamy pancetta mushroom mixture and serve immediately because the  sauce with thicken up right away.

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Sprinkle with fresh basil and add parmigiano reggiano or pecorino romano as needed.

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Look at this beautiful bruschetta!  Jacqi did all the chopping of the tomatoes…I use grape because they taste better and have less goopy stuff inside.

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Ok now for the comments.  While this was really delicious, I thought it was a heavy dish. I probably will not make this again until it’s colder outside or I need a huge carb rush.  I am just starting to like cream sauces, so this was very rich for me.  Next time I will use 2%  milk and possibly a little chicken stock to prevent it from becoming too thick.

Creamy Pancetta Mushroom Pasta
1/2 box of thin spaghetti (Barilla is my favorite)
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
small chunk of pancetta (I would have put more in if I had a bigger piece) finly chopped
1T flour
olive oil
1 1/2 cup half and half
salt
pepper
nutmeg (pinch)

Heat a little olive oil (maybe 1T) in a large saute pan and cook pancetta until crispy.  Remove from oil and drain on a paper towel.

Add onions and garlic to pan drippings and cook slowly until transluscent and tender.  Remove from pan.

Add a little more olive oil and then saute mushrooms until browned.

Add a little more olive oil (if there are a lot of pan drippings from the pancetta, you do not need to add the oil to the above steps) and sprinkle in an equal amount of flour.
I used about 1 1/2 tablespoons of flour.  Cook the roux until it’s thickened, but don’t let it turn brown.

Slowly add in the half and half (you could also use chicken stock and regular milk) and stir until thickened.  This may take  a few minutes and you may continue to add milk or your pasta liquid to thin it out.  At this time, season with salt and pepper and add the pinch of nutmeg.

Add the pancetta, onions, garlic and mushrooms back into the sauce and mix to combine.  Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Cook pasta according to directions (take out a little early…it will continue to cook in the sauce.  Mix into the creamy pancetta mushroom mixture and serve immediately because the  sauce with thicken up right away.

Sprinkle with fresh basil and add parmigiano reggiano or pecorino romano as needed.

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2 Responses to Creamy Pancetta Mushroom Pasta

  1. Why is it called Pancetta and not just bacon?

  2. C says:

    Pancetta is not smoked like bacon is.

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