As I was reading Dr Dan’s post Spaghetti with sausage, zucchini and fried egg two thoughts crept through my mind: seriously? Fried egg with spaghetti? Would never have thought of that. What a wonderful combination – bet it tasted just great. And: so I can use up streaky bacon and chestnut mushrooms that I’d bought but hadn’t used.
So, when I made this Spaghetti with Mushrooms, Spinach and Streaky Bacon yesterday for a very late lunch I purposely didn’t go with the idea of the fried egg. Especially as I need one for tomorrows post. Besides, the last time I went with frying my last egg in my cupboard that was probably the worst looking egg I’ve ever cooked – couldn’t use it in photos. Pleased to say that with this combination on the plate it didn’t need anything else. Autumnal, savoury and deeply pleasurable. I’ll go with Dr Dan’s idea another time, no doubt. What I appreciated about Dr Dan’s post was stating that not all pastas need sauces. Instead, some of the cooking liquor after the spaghetti is cooked is all that’s needed here to grab all of the sediment. This isn’t served wet, though. The liquor is reduced until it coats the mushroom mixture. So, too, with any single/light cream used. Not much, just enough to give this a luxurious texture. And I just love to drizzle over extra virgin olive oil when the food is plated up. There will be several step-by-step photos – when I can manage to upload them. Over three hours to get this far. Shall try again tomorrow.
Spaghetti with Mushrooms, Spinach and Streaky Bacon
- rapeseed or olive oil
- 150g (5.29 oz) x onions, peeled, cut in half then sliced crossways
- 1 x dried bay leaf, ripped
- 1 x celery stalk, washed and diced
- 1 x plump garlic clove, peeled and chopped
- 225g (7.93 oz) x chestnut (cremini) mushrooms, wiped, sliced in half then sliced crossways
- 50g (1.76 oz) x spinach, washed
- 2 x rashers streaky bacon, pan-fried separately, broken into bits when cool enough to handle
- 1/4 x teaspoon cayenne pepper, less to personal taste
- up to 8 x fine grates whole nutmeg, less to personal taste
- 70g (2.46 oz) x spaghetti, cooked to pack’s instructions
- about 1/2 x soup ladle full of the pastas cooking liquor
- a glug of single/light cream – optional
- cheese, I used up a mature Cheddar – Grana Padano is my choice, or Parmesan freshly shaved
- seasoning, to serve (pleased to say I only needed freshly ground black pepper)
- extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling over the dish when plated up
Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.
- Put a large heavy-based saucepan on electric heat No 3 (out of 6). When pan is hot pour in enough oil to coat its base. Add the onions and bay leaf and stir through. When starting to take on a pale golden add the celery, adding a splash of water if the onions are looking a tad dry throughout their cooking time. Continue to pan-fry until the onions are turning golden, reducing heat if necessary. Prep the garlic, push the onion mixture to the sides and add the garlic. Allow a couple of minutes for the rawness of the garlic to cook out. Sprinkle over the cayenne pepper and take off heat.
- In a separate heavy-based pan put on heat No 3 for the mushrooms. Add enough oil to cover its base and when hot add the mushrooms, stirring through occasionally. When they start to leach their brown liquid stay with them and stir frequently to make sure they brown nicely on all sides.
- In a separate pan/skillet put on heat No 2 for the bacon. With a little oil pan-fry until nicely golden on both sides. Remove to some kitchen paper, and when cool break into bits.
- Put a large saucepan on heat No 4 with plenty of water with a teaspoon of sea salt. Bring to a boil, add the spaghetti and allow it time to soften. Stir through to make sure the spaghetti strands don’t stick together. Cook for almost the time it states on their pack, testing a section of a strand to check if it’s cooked. If so take off heat.
- Add the onion mixture and the bacon to the mushrooms, grate over the nutmeg and keep on heat No 3 if the spaghetti is nearly ready. Add the spinach at this time to allow it to wilt completely. Grab a soup ladle and use about half a ladle of the spaghetti’s cooking liquor and add to the mushroom mixture with a glug of cream, if using. Stir through and allow enough time for the liquor to reduce, enough so it just coats the mushrooms.
- Drain the spaghetti, add to a plate, coat with the mushroom mixture and grate lots of cheese on top. I love to drizzle over extra virgin olive oil as well as its flavour seems to combine with all of the flavours on the plate.
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