Saturday, November 21, 2009

Pasta with Brussel Sprouts, Bacon and Mascarpone Cream Sauce

1 C uncooked rotini pasta
6-8 strips bacon
8 brussel sprouts
6 mushrooms
1/2 C Fat free half and half
4 oz Mascarpone cheese – can substitute cream cheese if needed
1/3 C freshly grated parmesan

OK, before you make fun of me for indicating the exact number of brussel sprouts and mushrooms in this recipe, let me say this… I try to make my recipes as “user friendly” as possible. Some readers who are new to cooking may be looking for specific direction about quantities as they become familiar with their kitchen. So that’s why I provided specific numbers of the veggies. Otherwise, this recipe (and countless others) would say “a bit of this” “a smidge of that” “a handful of this” and “a bunch of that.” I tend to use what I have on hand, so tonight, I had half a package of mushrooms and some leftover raw brussel sprouts from a previous dinner. So there’s my two cents on that. Now, on to the recipe!

Start by cleaning and finely chopping the brussel sprouts lengthwise, almost like shredding them. Roughly chop the mushrooms. Set both of these aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta and add in when the water is boiling.

Cook the bacon, according to your liking. For this recipe, we used the pre-cooked stuff and just threw it in the microwave for 30 seconds.

Heat a bit of olive oil in a large saucepan and sautee the brussel sprouts and mushrooms while the pasta is cooking. Meanwhile, crumble the bacon.

When the pasta is done cooking, drain the pasta, reserving a half cup of the pasta liquid. Add the pasta and crumbled bacon to the saucepan with the sautéed vegetables.

Add the creamer, mascarpone cheese and parmesan cheese and allow the entire mixture to meld together over low heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Top with additional parmesan cheese prior to serving.

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