Thursday, 20 August 2009

Sun-Dried Tomato, Bacon & Olive Pasta

This is a very flavourful recipe I came up with to include some of my favourite foods (garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and olives!!). Even my picky kids eat it up.
As I usually preach, don't skimp on the fresh Parmesan cheese. That canned stuff does NOT even come close to simulating the taste of the real stuff. :)

6 bacon slices (1/4 lb), chopped
1/2 cup shallots or onion, finely chopped
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 green pepper, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp thyme
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil), chopped
1/4 cup sliced green olives
1 cup 10% cream
3 tbsp flour
3 cups dry rotini
1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated

Cook bacon in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, 6 to 10 minutes. Transfer bacon with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.
Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from skillet. Add onion, mushrooms, green pepper, garlic, and spices to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened and lightly browned, about 6 minutes.
Add flour to cream and whisk until smooth. Add cream, sun-dried tomatoes, olives and bacon and simmer until cream is slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Cook pasta in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain pasta in a colander. Add pasta and cheese to sauce and toss to coat pasta, adding enough reserved cooking water to thin sauce as desired.

Tip: You could substitute the bacon for pancetta or even add cooked chicken to this dish.

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