This is just the recipe you need when you need a bowl of comfort.
Or when you’re entertaining and want to impress.
Or when you want to turn your husband into a mushroom fan.
It’s for all that and more.
It’s been years since my super talented photographer friend Chris McIntosh and I worked together for some delicious food pics (previous collabs here and here) and we finally got together this month. I whipped up some treats and Chris did his magic, so all the photos on this post are from him – and there will be a couple more recipes in the coming weeks!
Today I’m sharing this mouth-watering Fettuccine with Mushrooms and Pancetta. This has some of my favorite ingredients in one bowl: seared mushrooms, al dente pasta in a creamy sauce, crispy pancetta, and lots of herbs (thyme, parsley, chives) to brighten each bite.
I started by crisping up pancetta into little, salty, golden brown nubs. I seared different kinds of mushrooms in the pancetta oil, added herbs and garlic, deglazed the pan, and then tossed in the pasta, cream, and butter. I topped each bowl with the pancetta, chopped chives, and a sprinkling of red pepper flakes. Then we slurped our way to pasta heaven.
I loved the texture and flavor from the different kinds of mushrooms. I used a mix of maitake, oyster, crimini, portabella and they were divine. My husband Matt, who previously claimed to not like mushrooms, devoured his plate. He now understands how it is hard to resist golden brown mushrooms, especially when it’s tangled with pasta coated in a creamy herb sauce sauce. And don’t get me started on the crispy pancetta. Salty, crunchy, fatty little bits that lend to the luxuriousness of this dish.
I was inspired by a Bon Appetit recipe that originally called for shallots and crispy prosciutto, but I’m more of a garlic and pancetta kind of gal. That’s one of the great things about this dish: it’s easy to customize and adapt to your liking. Use different herbs, another pasta shape, bacon or sausage, add shrimp, hot sauce, use chicken stock. It’s a forgiving recipe, and so easy to whip up. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
Fettuccini with Mushrooms and Pancetta
16 oz fettuccine
1/4 cup olive oil
6 oz chopped pancetta
1 lb mixed mushrooms, torn into bite-size pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1 cup cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesa cheese
1/4 cup chopped chives
salt and pepper (and chili pepper flakes, optional) to taste
- In a large dutch oven or heavy bottomed skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add pancetta and cook until crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Increase heat to high. Add half of mushrooms and cook, tossing occassionally, until golden brown and tender, about 3-6 minutes. Add remaining half and continue to cook until all mushrooms are browned.
- Meanwhile, make the fettuccinne. Cook it 2 minutes less than package directions. (You will finish cooking the fettucinne in the dutch oven.) Save about 1/2 cup of pasta water. Set aside.
- Reduce heat to medium low. Add garlic and thyme, season with salt and pepper, and cook until garlic is soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Transfer the fettuccine to the dutch oven. Add reserved 1/2 cup of pasta water and continuously toss the pasta until al dente, about 2 minutes.
- Add cream and parmesan cheese. Cook, still continously tossing the pasta, until sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper.
- Divide pasta among bowls. Top with crispy pancetta and chopped chives (and red pepper flakes if using).