Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Creamy Portobello Mushroom Bacon Pasta

Last week I found myself wandering the food store wondering what to make for supper.  This is not a new occurrence because I often like to get inspiration as I shop or as I like to call it 'planning dinner on the fly'.  Sometimes I be crazy like that.

As I was perusing the peppers and admiring the avocados I came upon a portobello mushroom as big as my face.  Yup.  He was a big 'un.  The culinary wheels started turning in my old noggin and I came up with a pasta that Brad and I really enjoyed.  My kids were having none of the humongous fungus and that was fine with us. It was creamy, delicious, quite filling and great for lunch the next day too.  For those of you who prefer vegetarian fare you can leave out the bacon.  

All hail the humungoug fungus!  Meaty without the meat.  I do so love 'em!  Enjoy!

1 lb rotini pasta
1 very large portobello mushroom (or the equivalent)
1/2 large tomato - seeded and diced
3 tbsp grapeseed or olive oil
3/4 cup white onions, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ground thyme
2 cups half and half creamer (or 1 cup milk + 1 cup cream)
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp water
1 1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
4 bacon cooked bacon slices, crumbled (or 3/4 cup precooked, crumbled real bacon bits)

Garnish - 2 green onions, chopped

Clean mushroom with a dry cloth to remove dirt.  Remove the stem.  Slice the large mushroom in half and then in 1/4-inch thick pieces.  Set aside.

Tidbit: Mushrooms are like delicious sponges so if you wash them they'll soak up some of the water and will release it in your dish as it cooks.  Just wipe them with a dry cloth or a damp paper towel.  Remember, you're eager to eat a fungus which grow in the dirt.  Them's the breaks.

Please excuse the awkward hand posing.  A hand model I am not.
Prepare pasta according to package directions.  Drain and drizzle with some oil to avoid pasta sticking to itself.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes. {Cooking at this higher temperature will get rid of the excess moisture that mushrooms naturally hold.}  Remove mushrooms from skillet, cover and set aside.  Add white onions, garlic and thyme to the skillet.  Cook for 4 more minutes or until onions are soft.

Add half and half to skillet.  Mix cornstarch with the water until smooth.  Add to the skillet.  Add mushrooms back into the skillet and increase heat to medium-high heat to thicken sauce.  Add tomatoes, cooked pasta, Parmesan and bacon.

Garnish with green onions, more fresh Parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper.

Source: The Baking Bookworm

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