First of all, let me apologize for that title. Pasta with Bacon, Mushrooms and Sun-Dried Tomatoes. I'm sorry. 😔 I hate recipe names that are an ingredient list, but what else could I call it? At least I didn't include every ingredient.
But first, let's talk pasta. Mini penne is my favorite for this; you can use something else if you prefer. But I take issue with the cooking instructions on the pasta packages: "Bring 4 to 6 quarts of water to a boil." That's for one little pound of pasta, so they would have you boil 2 to 3 quarts for the half pound in this recipe. No.
Don't haul out your huge pot and waste a bunch of water and salt. In a 2- to 3-quart pan, bring 1 quart of water with 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a boil. That's all you need to cook 8 ounces of dried pasta.
I hope you'll try this easy weeknight meal and let me know how you like it.
Pasta with Bacon, Mushrooms and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
(Makes 3 Servings)
2 slices (2.5 ounces/71 grams) bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips
1/3 packed cup (1 ounce/28 grams) sun-dried tomato halves, cut into 1/4-inch strips
3 tablespoons hot water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 pound (8 ounces/227 grams) button mushrooms, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into 2x1/4-inch strips
1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces/60 ml) dry sherry
Optional: 1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces/118 ml) heavy cream
1/2 cup or more grated parmesan or finely shredded mozzarella
1 In large skillet, cook the bacon until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to small bowl. There will probably be about a tablespoon of bacon drippings in the pan.
2 In small bowl, add the hot water to the sun-dried tomatoes, cover and let stand until needed.
3 Add a tablespoon of the olive oil to the drippings in the skillet along with the chopped onion. Cook over medium-low heat until onion is very soft, about 5 minutes (or longer, if you like).
4 Add the mushrooms to the skillet, sprinkle with the salt and pepper, and cook for 5 minutes.
5 In the meantime, bring 1 quart of water with 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a boil in a 2- to 3-quart saucepan. Proceed with the recipe until the water is ready, then cook the pasta for the length of time specified on the package; drain well.
6 Add the bell pepper and reconstituted sun-dried tomatoes (minus any leftover soaking liquid) to the skillet. Cook for about 4 minutes.
7 Add the sherry and, if using, heavy cream (I sometimes use it, sometimes don't; this batch in the photos is without cream). Cook, stirring frequently, for a few minutes.
8 Stir the well-drained pasta into the sauce along with the bacon, then taste and adjust seasoning. I find that the small amount of salt I used on the mushrooms is quite enough because of the salt in the bacon and sun-dried tomatoes. Plate up and sprinkle with cheese.
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