Creamy porcini fettuccine nested in a Parmesan cream sauce with caramelized mushrooms, peas and crispy bacon lardons.
This recipe is one that I’ve been making for us for gosh, decades but honestly never thought to post it on here. Well okay, I did think about posting the recipe only after we devoured most of this. It’s that dish that really is simplistic but has so much deep flavor that you’re actually caught off guard when you take that first bite.
The first time I made this recipe it was truly out of partial panic and partial pantry/fridge clean out. I was working crazy hours (some things never change apparently as decades later I still work an insane amount) , got home only to be met with a very hungry Mr. Fantabulous. He, too, was crushed at work and hadn’t eaten all day. It was one of those weeks when I hadn’t gone grocery shopping in forever and had like no food in the house. I know, that’s just not right!
So to the pantry I went. I found a box of fettuccine noodles and a can of peas (quit making that face; I like canned peas). Okay that’s at least a start. To the fridge I went. I had a few strips of bacon, a package of mushrooms, some cream and cheese. Like I didn’t even have milk or any real protein that was thawed. Plus this was pre Instant Pot.
The first time I made it, it was good but it needed a bit more work. But I knew that I was on to something with pretty simple ingredients. Anyway, after about 4-5 attempts I finally got it perfected. Or so I thought.
Fast forward to about a year ago. I was at Home Goods and found Porcini Pasta. It essentially was fettuccine that had mushroom powder/paste in it. It actually was AMAZING and added a great umami flavor to the dish. But, like most things at Home Goods, once it’s gone, it’s gone. So I had to set out and buy more online. Hello Amazon! This porcini pasta is really, really delish!
I also decided to make a bit more “wow” to the dish but kicking up the quality of the ingredients.
The first addition was swapping regular onions for shallots. The other was creating lardons instead of bacon crumbles. For those that aren’t sure what they are, lardons is a hung of slab bacon that is cut into 1/4″ strips by 1″ long. If you can’t find that in the store, you can substitute in thick cut bacon, In a pinch, yes you could use regular bacon but trust me, the lardons do make a difference.
The other change I did was actually take out the vegetable stock and use some of the pasta water. I found that the vegetable stock actually made the dish too rich and in not a good way. The pasta water added starch that aided in the thickening of the sauce plus it also deglazed the bottom of the pan.
The other change I made was using fresh grated Parmesan and not that canned powder stuff. And frozen peas. Yes, me the girl that HATED frozen peas for like ever, used frozen peas. See I only ever like canned peas. Frozen peas (when I was little) were absolutely gross and tasted nothing like peas. But today, frozen peas are real peas that are fresh frozen as soon as they are picked.
And to finish it off, I went with freshly grated Grana Padano. I use that often and have heard that many of you have a hard time finding it. If you can’t find it, then you can use a really great Pecorino Romano cheese. That little grating adds the final flair of flavor!
Recently I asked on Instagram what types of recipes you guys wanted to see. Many asked for pasta and one asked for 10 ingredients or less. Now on most cooking shows spices are freebies, same with oil/butter/water. If the same holds true here then this recipe only has 8 ingredients. Sure it calls for porcini mushroom pasta but it’s totally ok to go with fettuccine pasta if you don’t have the mushroom stuff on hand. But do yourself (and your guests a favor) just try it once with it. Trust me, you’ll taste the difference!
So, some other questions I’m sure you’re going to ask:
- Can I substitute the heavy cream with fat free milk or milk? No. You have to have that fat. You can use half and half though.
- I hate mushrooms, can I use a different vegetable? Um… this is a mushroom forward recipe so… You could use any type of sauteed veggie but honestly I’m not sure how it would taste.
- Peas are gross, what else can I use? Man, you’re picky! lol Seriously, you could totally use cooked edamame or chopped asparagus.
This recipe, honestly, is one of my top 10 all time FAVORITE pasta dishes. It’s creamy, luscious and truly sinful. This is one of those pasta dishes that will definitely impress your guests but honestly doesn’t take much effort at all. It’s an all-season pasta dish as it’s light enough that you could totally serve it on a warm summer night or as a comfort food in the dead of winter.
We love this dish in the winter with a warm crusty baguette to sop up all of the Parmesan cream sauce.
I mean, c’mon… just LOOK at that bite! Doesn’t it make you want to just dive face-first into the screen and take a bite?
- 12 ounces porcini pasta (dried) – if you can’t find this, you can use egg noodles or fettuccine, plus ~2 cups reserved pasta water
- 1 1/2 pounds portabella mushrooms, gills removed and sliced
- 1 large shallot, sliced thin
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 3/4 cup grated parmesan
- 1 – 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (plus salt for the pasta water)
- 1 teaspoon fresh black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 cups frozen peas
- 2 tablespoon butter, unsalted
- 3 slices slab cut or thick cut bacon cut into 1/4” wide strips (cut vertically)
- Freshly grated Grana Padano (or parmesan)
- In a large, deep skillet cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove the bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Remove all but 2 tablespoon bacon drippings. To the pan add the 2 tablespoon of butter and the mushrooms. Stir and cook for 2 minutes then add the shallots, thyme, half the salt and pepper. Stir. Cook for 5-10 minutes or until the mushrooms have released all of their liquid and turned a deep golden brown.
- While the mushrooms are cooking, prepare your pasta per the directions reserving ~2 cups of pasta water.
- When the mushrooms are ready add 1 cup of reserved pasta water slowly to the skillet with the mushroom stirring and picking up the little browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Next add in the cream and grated parmesan, stirring the whole time. Turn the heat up to medium high and whisk until it thickens. Cook for 5-7 minutes. If the mixture is too thick add a little more pasta water. Add in the drained pasta, stir and remove from the heat. Taste for seasoning. Add in the peas, stirring gently to incorporate. Right before serving garnish with lardons and grated Grana Padano.
Keywords: mushroom pasta, porcini mushrooms, italian pasta, pasta with peas, cream sauce