I love snow. It makes me giddy with excitement and I love waking up to see the ground covered in a soft, white mantle. Snow days filled with an abundance of hot chocolate and a favorite book are some of my favorite days. However, I must admit that even this Winter enthusiast is growing a bit tired of being snowbound. I do not like when the weather bosses me around.
As I have been recently reminded, I am not in control of the universe and so I am trying to take these snowbound days and enjoy the moments I have at home. Hint: Pasta helps.
My snow day meal is simple yet satisfying. If you have spent any time around this blog you know about my affinity for pasta. Pasta is my comfort food and this particular pasta dish is especially comforting on a brisk, wintry day.
This pasta begins with pancetta, cooked to a crisp. Pancetta is basically Italian bacon. It’s salty, full of flavor, and it is the perfect foundation for our simple sauce.
Mushrooms provide, a deep meaty element to our dish. I cooked the mushrooms in the residual fat leftover from the pancetta, because fat is delicious.
Orecchiette is one of my favorite pastas, I love how its little pockets grasp onto sauce.
I topped my pasta with a simple lemon butter. Adding the lemon butter just before serving preserves the brightness of the lemon which will help to cut through the fat from the pancetta.
You should definitely eat this dish while sitting in your favorite corner of your home and watching the snow fall.
Of course you could be civilized and eat at an actual table, but where is the fun in that?
Maybe snow days aren't so bad after all...
I am going to eat some more pasta and try very hard to stop slipping on all this ice. Happy Winter!
Mushroom & Thyme Pasta with Lemon Butter
for the lemon butter
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
In a small bowl, use an electric mixture to beat butter until light and fluffy. Add lemon zest and set aside.
for the pasta
- 1/2 cup pancetta
- 10 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced thinly
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, leaves removed from stems
- 1 teaspoon salt + extra for pasta water
- 1/2 pound Orecchiette
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
In a medium sauté pan, cook pancetta over medium heat until crisp. Remove pancetta and set aside, leaving the fat in the pan. Add mushrooms, salt, and thyme to the fat and cook until the mushrooms are golden brown, about 7-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring 8 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan and salt liberally. Add pasta to the boiling water and cook for 10-12 minutes, until al dente. Remove from heat and drain thoroughly.
When the mushrooms are cooked, add butter, white wine, heavy cream, and 2/3 of cooked pancetta to the pan. Stir gently to form a sauce. Add pasta to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes to allow the sauce to tighten up.
Top with remaining pancetta and lemon butter. Serve immediately. Enjoy!