I’m sure that everyone has a version of this recipe. I can sometimes find creamy pasta sauces a bit too rich, but with this recipe I deliberately under-cook the pasta first and then add it into the sauce to soak up some of the sauce and finish cooking. That way the pasta doesn’t seem to be drowning in sauce when you serve it.
It’s a tasty, easy and filling meal and the recipe makes quite a lot. You need a big pot to cook it all in! Also, I grated Curio Bay sheep’s milk pecorino over it instead of parmigiano reggiano, which is a bit sharper in flavour.
Chicken, bacon and mushroom pasta
500g pasta (I used tortigli – penne would be a good substitute)
400-500g chicken breast/tenderloins, diced
6 strips of streaky bacon, rind removed, diced
12-15 brown button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
a pinch of dried basil
1/4 C flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
Grated cheese such as pecorino or parmigiano reggiano
In a large pot of boiling salted water, start to cook the pasta.
Meanwhile, in another large pot (such as a Dutch oven), fry the bacon in the olive oil until it starts to get crispy. Add the garlic, diced chicken and dried herbs. Fry until the chicken is nearly cooked and then add the mushroom. Once the mushrooms have browned and the chicken is cooked, add the cream and allow it to simmer and thicken slightly. Season to taste.
Take the pasta off the heat when it is not quite al dente (so it is slightly under-cooked). Drain and then stir into the cream sauce. Cook until the pasta is properly cooked (al dente) and a lot of the sauce has been absorbed. Stir in the parsley. Serve with grated pecorino or parmigiano reggiano.