At the beginning of the lockdown last year I decided that I really wanted to use tat time to do something different, to improve my skills and to have something that I could really get my teeth into, and food to me seemed the most obvious choice. As I was looking around online for cooks and chefs who could guide me through this, I found the brilliant Adam Seger, who puts up loads of really cool YouTube videos with guides and tips on how to be better in the kitchen.
Something which Adam touches on in one of his videos is the importance of having a pasta dish in your locker for all occasions, and so here is what I came up with.
What We Will Make
I wanted to come up with a dish which was both simple to make, great tasting and which uses basic ingredients. This is why my dish is a delightful, creamy mushroom and pancetta pasta dish, and it is super easy to make.
No matter what the dish is that you are making it is absolutely critical that you are doing it with some seriously high quality pasta. I prefer fresh egg pasta if I can get it, if not I will use some large shell pasta as I find the quality to be much better.
Pasta should go into a pan of boiling water that has been heavy salted, and it should cook for no more than 14 minutes for dried pasta, and 4 minutes for fresh pasta.
Preparing the Goods
I find it far better to prepare the pasta additions whilst I am waiting for the water to boil, this way you just have everything you need, well in advance. Fry off the pancetta on quite a low heat, we do not want it too crispy here and the best option is to let it retain some of that fat rather than letting it come out. Once the pancetta has finished you need to make sure that you dry it in a kitchen towel.
In terms of mushrooms I have found that cremini seem to be the best and they have that natural earthy flavor that I just love. Slice and fry off your mushrooms in the pancetta fat, dry off and set aside.
Sauce and Finish
After you put the pasta in the pan it is time to get started with the creamy sauce. I like to use cream cheese, around 250g, with full fat milk, no more than half a cup. Heat slowly on a low heat and continuously stir the sauce until you get a thick, yet loose consistency. Once you have drained the pasta well, place back in the saucepan and add in all of your ingredients and stir through. Finally finish with a good amount of salt and pepper, and some basil and oregano for fuller taste.
This is a delicious and easy to make dish which is great for all occasions. If you want to top off your meal with some cake, check this latest article out!
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