Saturday, 10 August 2013

Recipe: Pasta with bacon, mushroom and cheese: fairly frugal

. . . and absolutely delicious.

Diane was right - making pasta is fun.  It very satisfying and relaxing as you feed the dough through increasingly close-together rollers.  I will use this gadget, for sure.  Beth!  Pasta on Sunday?

But I forgot to take a photo - maybe I will remember tomorrow!

Pasta:  100g pasta flour and one egg (I see Diane added oil to hers so I might try that next time)

1/4 pack of value cooking bacon (Sainsbury's)
a very little oil
a very little butter
1 small onion, chopped
a squidge of garlic puree
3 or 4 mushrooms, thinly sliced
100ml light creme fraiche
some chopped parsley and chopped oregano (from the garden/window ledge)
40g value Italian hard cheese (not-parmesan, finely grated.
ground black pepper

Make the pasta (or use dried or fresh bought pasta - the former is much cheaper, the latter much dearer).

Cut the bacon into small chunks, discarding any fat.  Heat the oil in a frying pan on a low heat and add the bacon.  Cook slowly, not allowing it to catch, then spoon it into a dish and retain.
In the pan, with the bacon juices, add a very little butter.  Add the chopped onion, mix well and leave on a very low heat to soften and turn translucant (not brown!).  Towards the end add the garlic puree and stir well.
Then add the sliced mushrooms, increase the heat slightly and cook, stirring for a few minutes.

Pour boiling water into a saucepan, add salt and bring back to the boil.  When boiling hard, add the pasta and cook, reducing the heat a little if it looks to be boiling over.  (if using dried pasta, you need to begin to cook it before starting on the sauce).  When the pasta is cooked, drain it well, pop it back into the pan and cover.  Set to one side.

Back to the sauce - add the cooked bacon to the onion and mushrooms and stir together.  Then add the light creme fraiche, the chopped herbs and some black pepper and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring well.  Add most of the not-parmesan, retaining a little to sprinkle over the top.
Pour the sauce into the saucepan with the pasta and stir well.
Serve with the remaining cheese over the top.

You do NOT need to add any salt to the sauce - the bacon and the cheese contain enough.

This made two very good portions BUT - if I had made twice the amount of pasta, it would have stretched to four - the amount of sauce was very generous - way too much really.  However, it was very satisfying and I'm still not terribly hungry the next morning.

Serving two, each portion is about 80p - not bad at all.  Double the pasta and make it serve 3 and it is 63p a portion.  Stretch it to four (more a light lunch really) and it will be around 50p which is approaching the very frugal banding!

When I eat the other portion (tomorrow), I will add a splash of lemon juice to lift it!

At some point I am going to try it with chicken instead of bacon and then with salmon but I will need to cook the fish nearly at the end, not at the beginning.

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