A plateful of hot pasta covered in a delicious sauce served with fresh bread and a green salad is my idea of a great dinner. People pay a lot of money at restaurants for this kind of meal when they could easily make something just as good, if not better, at home. This recipe for Bow Tie Pasta with Bacon and Mushrooms is the perfect example of this kind of meal. It begins with healthy, 100% whole grain Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Bow Ties -not something found on most menus and so much better for you than regular white flour pasta. The bow ties get tossed together with fresh mushrooms and a creamy, bacon-flavored tomato sauce that comes together in less than 30 minutes. I warmed up a nice loaf of bread, tossed together a simple salad and dinner was served. It was easy, less expensive and better for my family than eating out. It also completely satisfied my craving for a great pasta meal and made a tasty little lunch for me as leftovers the next day.
Start off by boiling a large pot of salted water and cook 2 cups of Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Bow Ties for 7-9 minutes or until al dente. Drain the cooked pasta and set aside.
Next, chop the onion, bacon and garlic and quarter the mushrooms. Set all but the bacon aside.
Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp – about 5 minutes. Drain on a paper towel and set aside. I used an Italian bacon, called pancetta, but regular bacon will work just as well. If you can find pancetta, I recommend using it in this recipe. It’s a little leaner than regular bacon and has a spicier taste that compliments the sauce really well. In the end, the bacon imparts a nice smoky flavor to the sauce, whichever type you use.
Remove all but one tablespoon of the bacon drippings from the skillet and add the onion and garlic. Cook the onions and garlic, stirring for 3 minutes.
Add the mushrooms to the skillet and continue cooking and stirring until the mushrooms begin to soften, about four more minutes. Add the flour to the skillet and stir until it’s no longer visible, about one minute.
Add the crushed tomatoes and thyme to the mixture and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered for five minutes.
Return the sauce to a boil and add the cream, stirring for one minute or until heated through. Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the pasta, bacon and parsley. Toss everything together and serve immediately.
Bow Tie Pasta with Bacon and Mushrooms is a great dish to fix when you’re in the mood for a delicious, restaurant-quality meal that’s better for you and less expensive than going out. It comes together quickly and is filled with healthy whole wheat Hodgson Mill Bow Ties and chunks of fresh mushrooms that are enrobed in a flavorful creamy tomato sauce accented with smoky bits of crisp bacon. It may be hard to go back to your favorite pasta place after fixing a dish like this. Enjoy!
Bow Tie Pasta with Bacon and Mushrooms
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta for 7-9 minutes or until al dente. Drain and set aside. In a large skillet, cook the bacon until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove bacon from the skillet and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside. Remove all but one tablespoon of bacon drippings from the skillet and add the onion and garlic to the skillet. Sauté onions and garlic for 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and continue cooking and stirring until the mushrooms begin to soften, about 4 more minutes. Add the flour to the skillet and stir until no longer visible, about 1 minute. Add the crushed tomatoes and thyme to the mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Return sauce to a boil and add the cream. Stir until sauce is heated through, reduce heat to low and add the pasta, bacon and parsley. Toss everything together and serve immediately.
Makes 4-6 adult-sized servings.
Adapted from Creative Everyday Cooking