The pasted weekend I have been feeling so good …. and I think it’s all down to my new bike and all the flowers in parks.
Pasta is something I very rarely cook and eat, even if I like it. Very seldom do I visit an Italian restaurant during my travel – very strange because I really like the Italian cuisine.
I think it because I always feel so “over-filled” when I have enjoyed an Italian meal. A friend to me always say that the worst con with eating Italian is that you get hungry again after 4-5 days. It’s a bit like that with me.
When I feel good … I also want to be a bit creative, so on Saturday I decided to see what I could make out what I had at home – had everything except the thick cream.
You that knows me .. know that I’m not a big fan of fresh herbs, as a chef … I prefer frozen, because the flavor is so much more intense when they defrost. I always use frozen dill for my gravlax.
For this dish I have used Findus new invention (just LooOOOoove Findus); their frozen cubes of fresh herb and spices. Comes like an ice cube tray with a lid – 20 cubes to a tray. They do Mediterranean herbs, Asian herbs and Ginger. Just to pop out a cube in the pot or the mixing bowl.
The Mediterranean herbs contains of; garlic, oregano, basil, parsley, rosemary and thyme.
And I also always use their frozen chopped chili and coriander that comes in small boxes. I wish they would do mint and lemongrass too.
Also I always use dried pasta – with the fresh is it so easy to overcook and it’s also what most Italian mamas’ use. I must confess that I have never done my own fresh pasta, not even when I worked as a chef. 98% of the pasta I worked with was dried.
Personal I think it has gone a bit of snobbery into this with pasta making.
Pasta with Warm Smoked Bacon, Mushrooms and Cocktail Tomatoes in a Herb Cream, serves 4.
250gr/8.8oz warm smoked bacon, diced
400gr/4.1oz pasta of your liking – I used penne pasta
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
12 mushrooms, quartered
12 cocktail tomatoes, halved
chopped fresh herbs (save some for garnish)
0,5 tsp red chilli, finely chopped
300ml/1.3cup thick cream (used German)
salt and fresh ground black pepper
butter & olive oil for frying
1. Put on a big pot with salted water – bring to boil and add pasta. No need for oil in the water, it’s more important that it’s stirred constantly.
2. Soft fry the garlic and onion in a mixture of olive oil and butter. Heat up the oil up first and than add the butter = you will never burn anything.
3. Be careful with the onions so they are too fried because then the garlic goes very bitter.
4. Add the bacon and mushrooms – fry until both gets some colour. Seasoning.
5. Drain the pasta properly and put back in the pot and on the heat and let the excess water evaporate.
6. Put in the bacon and mushroom mix, add the tomatoes and the fresh herbs – mix it well together. Put in the cream and let it become really warm while stirring carefully.
7. Divide the pasta between 4 warm bowls – be generous with the Parmesan and sprinkle some herbs over the dish. Finish off with some freshly ground black pepper.
If I had some Gorgonzola at home I would have added some to the pot before I added the cream.
This little simple dish needs a BIiiiG passionate cloud – Il Volo with “Grande Amore”. Played at least 4 times during the preparing of this dish, in full blast of course. Poor neighbors!
And I see Findus as a very passionate company too … passionate over the raw ingredients and the finale products.
OOoooh, I just adore the Italian language. Guys, sing your hearts out for us.
“Creativity is knowing how to hide your sources”