We've all been there. Coming home after work, dragging a little, having no idea what's for dinner. Knowing you either come up with something or it'll turn into one of those "breakfast for dinner" nights. Last night was a perfect case in point. I open the fridge....stare....stare some more...hoping inspiration is hidden in the chilly confines, maybe behind the jar of mayo. And then it hits! I open the meat drawer, where ironically all my veggies tend to hide, and there is that bag of earthy goodness I picked up a week ago at the farmer's market, about a pound and a half of porcini and morel mushrooms. Then the mind starts clicking. I look 36" above that and grab that hunk of pancetta out of the freezer, a stick of butter, a chunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano....getting closer now....is it still there? Yes! A serviceable bunch of parsley. Oh, and there's that tub of Crane Bros. mascarpone...sure, why not. I'm home free now. Some garlic, olive oil, a box of DeCecco fusilli out of the cupboard, S&P, and here ya have it, a delicious dinner in about 20 minutes. Hunger averted, satisfaction delivered!
Wild Mushroom and Pancetta Pasta
1.5# wild mushrooms sliced
5 oz pancetta diced
2-3 tbls. Olive oil
5 cloves garlic peeled and lightly crushed
1/3 cup Italian parsley
2 tbls. Butter
2-3 tbls. Mascarpone
1# fusilli or any other favorite pasta
Salt & fresh ground pepper
Parmigiano-Reggiano for passing
Heat large pot of water to boil for pasta. Pour olive oil into large sauté pan. Heat up over medium heat and add crushed garlic cloves. Infuse oil until cloves turn golden brown. Remove cloves and discard. Add diced pancetta and cook until crisp. Remove pancetta from pan, leaving oil and "bacon juice", add butter and melt. Add pasta to water and cook until done. Add mushrooms, sprinkle with salt, and sauté about 10 minutes or until soft. Add pancetta back to mushrooms. Stir in mascarpone. Drain pasta and return to pot. Add mushroom/pancetta mix and parsley to pasta, mix together with salt and pepper to taste and dig in! Pass parma for sprinkling.