Pasta with Mushrooms, Pancetta & Sage

You have to make this, I’m not even kidding. It’s so good I made it twice in a week lol…my friend couldn’t stop eating it. He was upset he forgot to take some home with him, but like I told him “These. Are. The breaks!” *shrug*

There are so many flavors going on here. You get the earthy woodiness of the mushrooms — which take on a very meaty flavor, the tender bite of pasta, smothered in a flavorful creamy sauce that will send you swingin’!

Pasta with Mushrooms, Pancetta & Sage

It’s so damn yummy, and very easy and quick to make. This is a great “weeknight pasta” dish for those evenings when you’re really hungry but want something fast and full-bodied. I used farfalle (bow tie) pasta, but you can use rigatoni, penne, linguini, spaghetti, or fettuccine. Whatever you use, you’ll love ;)

If you don’t have access to pancetta you could use bacon, but note that it will have a stronger flavor. What’s the difference between “pancetta” and “bacon”? Well, they’re both from the pork belly region, but are prepared and cured in different ways. Bacon is smoked, pancetta is cured. Use less bacon than you would pancetta for this dish, so that it doesn’t overpower the other flavors due to its signature smokiness. I really liked the pancetta for this dish because it was a milder flavor, and even after crisping it up completely, it still soaked in some of the sauce and turned it into a tender meaty bite. Don’t OD on the sage, it’s a very pungent herb — delicious, but strong, so use the recommended amount so that it doesn’t overpower your entire dish.

Pasta with Mushrooms, Pancetta & Sage
Begin crisping up your pancetta..

Pasta with Mushrooms, Pancetta & Sage
All crisp, now drain and set aside

Pasta with Mushrooms, Pancetta & Sage
cook your onions…

Pasta with Mushrooms, Pancetta & Sage
add your mushrooms…

Pasta with Mushrooms, Pancetta & Sage
cook everything down…then add the sage and whatnot

Pasta with Mushrooms, Pancetta & Sage
remove all of the onion/mushroom/sage mixture and deglaze your pan with chicken stock

Pasta with Mushrooms, Pancetta & Sage
then add cream and seasonings of your choice

Pasta with Mushrooms, Pancetta & Sage
cover and let it do it’s thing for a few minutes

Pasta with Mushrooms, Pancetta & Sage
serve it up!

Pasta with Mushrooms, Pancetta & Sage

Pasta with Mushrooms, Pancetta & Sage

Pasta with Mushrooms, Pancetta & Sage

Pasta with Mushrooms, Pancetta and Sage
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

adapted from Cooks Illustrated.
Author:
Serves: 6

Ingredients
  • 4oz. pancetta , cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Table salt
  • 1lb. farfalle pasta, or campanelle
  • 3 to 4 large shallots, chopped fine (about 1 cup)
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tbsp.)
  • 10oz. shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, caps wiped clean and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 10oz. cremini mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 1 tsp minced fresh sage leaves, plus 1 additional tsp.
  • 1¼ cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice from one lemon
  • Ground black pepper
  • Granulated garlic, cayenne pepper to taste (optional)
  • 2oz. grated Parmesan cheese (1 cup)
  • 2 tbsp. minced fresh parsley leaves

Instructions
  1. Bring 4 quarts water to rolling boil, covered, in stockpot; add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta, stir to separate, and cook until just shy of al dente. Drain and return pasta to stockpot.
  2. Meanwhile, cook pancetta in 2 tablespoons olive oil, stirring occasionally until lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper-towel lined plate. Add shallots to fat remaining in skillet, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Increase heat to medium-high; add shiitakes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add cremini mushrooms and ½ teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in sage and cook 30 seconds. Transfer mushrooms to bowl. Add broth to skillet and bring to boil, scraping up browned bits; off heat, stir in cream, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add mushrooms, pancetta, broth mixture, cheese, and parsley to pasta in stockpot. Toss over medium-low heat until pasta absorbs most of liquid, about 2 minutes; serve immediately.

Notes
So that the sauce and pasta finish cooking at the same time, drop the pasta into boiling water after adding the cremini to the skillet.

You may have to adjust with the amounts of cream to get it to the consistency you want. The second time I made this dish, I added a little more heavy cream than originally stated. It’s adjustable, but use the recommended amounts first, then add anything you’d like later to make it amazing.Try adding grilled chicken or steak to the dish!

 

NOTES:

  • You may have to adjust with the amounts of cream to get it to the consistency you want. The second time I made this dish, I added a little more heavy cream than originally stated. It’s adjustable, but use the recommended amounts first, then add anything you’d like later to make it amazing.
  • Try adding grilled chicken or steak to the dish!
Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links on each post, recipe, and/or page may be affiliate links and I will earn commission if you make a purchase through those links, which helps support the site. You are under no obligation to purchase any products through any affiliate links posted here.

Comments

  1. JMM says

    I have a quick question for you…I don’t eat port *don’t slap me* :) So instead of using pancetta or bacon, would you suggest using chicken in this dish? Or how bout no meat at all?

    • admin says

      you could use anything you want, chicken is excellent in this. i’ve made it that way once. it’s also good without meat because you get the chickeny flavor from the stock/cream sauce. it’s a very customizable recipe, do whatever you want.

  2. SassyK says

    I’ve made this with mushrooms, chicken or without. I do not care for mushrooms but tried them anyway. I like it best without mushrooms or chicken. It is simple and delicious.

  3. Adjy says

    I just made this recipe. Very delicious!! Love the mushrooms in a creamy sauce. I’m slowly working my way through cooking all the recipes on your website. :-)

  4. says

    I made this last night. My boo had tears welling up in his eyes. He looooved it and so did I. There is absolutely NO reason that a dish this quick easy, w/ ingredients I already had lying around was this good. OMG. I’ve made other recipes on your site but avoided this one because I’m not the biggest pasta fan plus it seemed like it was too simple to be that delish. I was so so so wrong. FORGIVE ME RESHA FOR I HAVE SINNED!!

    Love. love. love.

  5. Wendy says

    While this sounds like absolute perfection, I cook for someone who despises mushrooms (Their loss!) any idea for a substitution for the mushrooms?

    • says

      Haha, I totally understand. The mushrooms in this dish lend an umami/earthy flavor and meatiness, but you could absolutely use chicken or veggies such as zucchini or eggplant — adjusting cooking times as necessary. Maybe add a half teaspoon or so of soy sauce if you want that slight warmth and umami flavor, optional.

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