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Sunday, April 15, 2012
Perciatelli with Mushrooms Smoked Bacon and Chipotle Cilantro Jack Crema
Long thin tube shaped perciatelli pasta is perfect for this mildly spicy southwestern style cream sauce!
I always feel guilty about not posting more pasta recipes. I do have several nice pasta recipes in my blog already, but I do know so many more great pasta entree recipes that I have not posted yet. I have not even started making fresh pastas for this blog and I do have an Italian pasta machine!
Perciatelli is similar to bucatini pasta. A cream sauce does cling nicely to perciatelli. Cream sauces are not traditional Italian sauces, but they are part of New York Italian pasta cuisine. Americans like cream and cheese pasta sauces.
This southwestern style crema sauce is made with the same techniques that many chefs use to make a parmesan black pepper cream pasta sauce. Instead of making a besciamella sauce, the cream is simply reduced.
A parmesan black pepper cream sauce is in no way an authentic Alfredo sauce, yet many second rate chefs sell it as Alfredo sauce to unwitting customers. There is no cream in a true Alfredo sauce! The fast food pasta restaurant chain, that is unduly famous these days, uses a dried pre-packaged low quality instant cheese sauce to make Alfredo sauce. That is as low as it gets!
Real Alfredo sauce is made by slowly melting parmesan cheese in melted butter, while constantly stirring, till the sauce becomes a creamy smooth texture. A true Alfredo sauce looks like it has cream in it, but it does not!
By the description of the ingredients in this southwestern style pasta, you might assume that this sauce is very heavy. You are partially correct! Any cheese and cream sauce can be considered to be heavy. Only a small amount of smoked bacon and a small amount of Monterey Jack Cheese is used to flavor the sauce. The small amount of mushroom adds a healthy rich flavor. One small chipotle pepper en adobo is enough to flavor the sauce, without adding excessive spicy heat! The cilantro adds a nice fresh light flavor to the cream sauce and it makes the sauce feel lighter on the palate!
Overall, this is a well thought out southwestern style pasta sauce that has a very appealing flavor. I created this sauce today, but I am sure that several southwestern chefs before me, have created this same sauce too. In old Mexican Aztec cuisine, mushrooms and hot peppers were commonly combined in recipes. The chipotle pepper and mushroom base flavor of the cream sauce has a classic old southwestern flavor!
Perciatelli with Mushrooms Smoked Bacon and Chipotle Cilantro Jack Crema Recipe:
Boil 1 portion of perciatelli pasta in boiling water over high heat. Cook the pasta till it becomes al dente. Drain the water off of the pasta and add it to the sauce when it is ready. For the best results, the sauce and pasta should be finished at the same time. The sauce for this pasta can be made in the same amount of time as it takes to cook the pasta!
Heat a saute pan over medium/medium low heat.
Add 2 tablespoons of finely chopped smoked bacon.
Saute till the bacon begins to turn a light brown color.
Use a spoon to remove any excess bacon grease.
Add 1 tiny splash of olive oil.
Add 2 minced garlic cloves.
Saute till the garlic begins to turn a golden color.
Add 1 small handful of thin sliced button cave mushrooms.
Saute till the mushrooms start to become tender.
Add 1/4 cup of milk.
Add 3/4 cup of cream.
Stir the sauce.
Add black pepper, but do not add any salt!
Add 1 tablespoon of minced chipotle en adobo. (Canned chipotle en adobo is good for this recipe.)
Raise the temperature to medium heat.
Simmer and reduce the sauce, till it becomes a very thin cream sauce consistency.
Stir the sauce occasionally.
Add 1 small handful of grated Monterey Jack Cheese, while stirring.
Stir till the cheese melts into the sauce.
Reduce the temperature to very low heat.
Add about 20 whole cilantro leaves, while stirring, just before the pasta is added to the sauce.
When the perciatelli pasta is cooked al dente, drain the water off of the pasta.
Add the pasta to the sauce.
Toss the ingredients together.
Use a chef's long tine carving fork to twist the pasta, as it is placed on a plate. Spin the carving fork and pasta together to increase the height of the pasta on the center of the plate!
Sprinkle one thin sliced green onion top over the pasta.
Place a small cilantro sprig bunch on top of the center of the pasta as a garnish.
Using a long tine carving fork is the classy professional way to plate a pasta! This way, no loose ends of the pasta are hanging out and a swirly effect is created. When stirring pasta in boiling water, always use a pasta stick or a wooden spoon handle, so the pasta is not damaged. Great care is taken in cooking and plating all fine dining pastas!
This is a rich nice tasting southwestern style pasta entree with a very mildly spicy chile chipotle mushroom flavor and rustic smokey bacon overtones. This is a pasta recipe worth trying! Yum! Buenas noches and ciao baby! Yum! ... Shawna