Test Kitchen: Creamy Mushroom & Bacon Pasta by Just One Cookbook
Welcome to my Test Kitchen! Test Kitchen is a series of posts where I test out recipes found by searching the web or browsing through books. I’ll share my thoughts through the entire cooking process and whether or not the recipe is worth keeping.
Last week was rainy, overall dreary, and I took advantage of the cooler weather to try heavier pasta dish. I prefer a butter or tomato based sauce, but cream sauces when done right are amazing. I discovered Just One Cookbook when I was searching for a recipe for homemade shoyu ramen base. This pasta recipe caught my eye for it’s simplicity, and the ingredients called for are usually always on hand in my house.
Just to be (legally) safe, I will not repost the exact recipe, but share the link instead. As I did make it for just one person, I will list out altered measurements.
Halved Measurements for Ingredients
- 2 pieces of bacon
- 3 mushrooms
- 3/4 tsp minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 40 ml heavy whipping cream
- 2 full tsp of soy
Observations During Cooking
The bacon I had to work with was overly fatty so I trimmed off the excess. I didn’t want to have bites of bacon that was only fat. No fresh garlic but I had a jar of minced garlic, so I just used a heaping 3/4 teaspoon. I’m not sure how much one clove of garlic yields once minced, so I estimated.
I was very grateful that the recipe uses both standard and metric measurements. Trying to figure out what one-half of 1/3 cup is beyond annoying, but the metric unit is much simpler. I used one of my jiggers to measure the cream out as I know 1oz is 30ml, and I needed 40ml. Probably not an accurate measurement as I estimated, but it didn’t seem to be a problem.
I didn’t realize until later on that the heat was lower than it should have been. The bacon could have cooked longer before moving to the next step. However, I worried that I would overcook the bacon, so I at least avoided that.
The sauce thickens quickly once you add the cream. I used a little more than half with the soy, as I thought the extra bit of umami flavor would help cut though the cream/fat in this sauce. As suggested, I did use some of the pasta water to dilute it, but I should have added more. Even after halving the recipe, I thought it made too much sauce but it made just enough for the amount of pasta I cooked.
Overall, I did like the dish. The soy is almost an aftertaste, so it probably wouldn’t hurt to be a little heavy handed. Overall, the flavor of the sauce is very light and doesn’t overwhelm the mushroom and bacon. This would be a great sauce with a variety of protein/veggie combinations. I think onions would be a nice addition to the bacon/mushroom combo. I need to make sure I have fresh parmesan cheese to grate over next time – the bite from the cheese would have complimented this nicely.