©2009 Amuse-bouche for Two
Créme Fraîche redux
Leftover Créme Fraîche was sitting in our cheese drawer and we couldn't let it go bad. I searched the internet at work before heading home and found the perfect recipe. Perfect in that we had everything that was called for on hand. To be honest, this recipe isn't that far removed from our usual pasta with mushrooms and cream, but in my opinion it may have trumped it. With the addition of pesto and substituting cream with créme fraîche, our usual had become extraordinary.
This recipe calls for the following ingredients. While we don't have exact amounts, due to the fact that our cooking is often times more art than science, I can give a rough estimate just in case you feel inspired to use up some leftover créme fraîche.
5 strips bacon cut into 1/2 inch pieces
Extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon shallot
1 small container white button mushrooms, quartered
1/3 cup white wine
1 tablespoon pesto
2 tablespoons créme fraîche
1/2 lb rigatoni
Salt and pepper to taste
If you're anything like us, you live by mise en place and cleaning up as you go. It really does make the cooking experience that much more enjoyable. So, with that in mind, your "meez" at the ready, set a pot of water to boil. While the water is working, coat your pan with a little olive oil and throw in the bacon. Cook bacon until it's ready, to your taste. We like it to be just cooked, but not too crispy. Pull the bacon out, add in a bit more olive oil if needed.
(At this point your water should be rolling, so add a healthy dose of salt and get your pasta going and don't forget to give everything a stir throughout the cooking process.)
Throw in the quartered mushrooms, sauté for about a minute and add in the garlic and shallot. Sauté for about another two minutes and add in the white wine. Let it go at this point on a low flame. Add in pasta water if things are looking dry. You want a silky coating on your dish, so there has to be plenty of liquid to keep things balanced.
(Reminder: Please salt, pepper, and taste as you go.)
Once the pasta is ready, be sure to reserve about a cup or more of the cooking water before you drain it. Add the pasta to the pan and stir well. Keep the flame on low while you do this. Add the pesto until everything is just coated. You might want to add in some cooking water at this point. Now add in the créme fraîche and stir well. At this point we like to give everything a healthy dose of black pepper. Turn off the flame. Everything should look silky. The bottom of the pan should not be dry, there should be a thin coating of liquid. If there isn't, stir in a little more cooking water. You don't want stiff/dried out pasta.
Time to plate. Be generous with your portion, you've worked hard and this is your reward. Top with a few leaves of basil and a nice dusting of parmesan.
Note: Where ever possible we source ingredients from natural/organic vendors and our garden.