It's been tomato overload lately-Pizza Chicago on Friday, a decadent slice of stuffed Patxi's pizza for lunch on Sunday. Eating all that red saucy stuff put the kibosh on plans for osso bucco (veal shanks in a tomato sauce) for this week's edition of Saucy Sundays at Casa VillaLadd. Carbonara sounded interesting, but we opted for a faux carbonara, without the egg.
Using porcini mushrooms was a treat, but any mushrooms will do if you're on a budget. Be sure to cook them in good butter or olive oil. The bacon was from Drewes Meats, and added warm smoky notes that played off the peas' sweetness. Tagliatelle came in a store packet, and cost almost $4, with promises of "like Momma used to make." I liked that I didn't have to chop and prep a lot of ingredients for this meal, since we were zombies from running around and adjusting to the springing forward of the clocks.
Homemade garlicky bread upped the pungent factor, causing pleasure inducing licks.
TAGLIATELLI COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:
Half an hour before cooking, place 2 ounces of dried porcinis in 1 cup water.
Cook 1 pound bacon in cast iron skillet, in batches. Dry cooked bacon on a plate with paper towels. When cool, cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Pour out some of the bacon fat, and use 1/8 cup (or more) to cook the porcinis.
While the bacon cooks, put the water on for pasta. Insider tip: the water warms up much quicker when a lid is on the pot.
Microwave one pound of peas with 1/2 cup water, covered, for 3-5 minutes, checking for doneness. Cover to keep warm.
Check mushrooms. If soft, squeeze gently and chop up. Reserve 1/3 cup of the mushroom water. Cook the mushrooms for three minutes in warm bacon fat.
In a small pan, pour one cup heavy cream, to cook at medium heat. Don't let it burn, overflow or bubble too rapidly. Grate 1/2 cup parmesan cheese. Chop finely 1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley. You can use less if you like, but it adds nice texture and flavor to the completed dish.
Egg noodles cook quickly, and become velvety and limp when done. Drain the pasta. Combine the bacon, mushrooms, reserved mushroom water, peas, parmesan, cream, and parsley. Stir. Serve immediately with garlic or other bread. You'll want bread to sop up the extra sauce.