Monday, March 28, 2011

Penne Pasta with Bacon and Cream

What's not to love about this?  This is a Southern Living recipe that I changed a little bit, and it was delicious.  It's hearty enough to be an entree, but you could serve it on the side of other dishes as well. 

The original recipe called for whipping cream instead of half and half and pasta water, but I wanted to lighten it up and use the leftover half and half I had in the fridge.  I also added sun dried tomatoes because I can't get enough of them.  It made 4-6 servings, but if there are just two of you eating, I'd still make the whole thing.  It's even better reheated for lunch the next day; leftovers are the best.

This recipe came together really quickly; boiling the pasta was the longest step.  Thankfully, it also didn't require many dishes.  I boiled the pasta in one pot, then put the pasta in a colander and sauteed the mushrooms in the same pasta pot.  Give it a try!

Penne Pasta with Bacon and Cream

7 bacon slices, cooked
4 oz sliced fresh mushrooms
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 (8.5 oz) jar julienned sun dried tomatoes packed in oil
10-12 oz penne pasta
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup pasta water
1/4 tsp pepper

Cook pasta in boiling water according to package directions.  Coarsely crumble cooked bacon and set aside.

In oil from sun dried tomatoes, saute sliced mushrooms and garlic for about 3 minutes or until tender.  Stir in cooked pasta, Parmesan cheese, sun dried tomatoes, half and half, pasta water, and pepper.  Simmer over medium-low heat, stirring often, until sauce thickens (about 5 minutes).  Stir in bacon, and serve hot. 

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