{ Fusilli with Creamy Mushroom Pea Sauce }

Fusilli with Pancetta and Creamy Mushroom Pea Sauce

I am always talking about food. When I go out and get drunk, I make friends by talking to strangers about food. When I meet someone of a different ethnic background, I establish common ground by talking to them about their culture’s food. When I get together with my closest friends and family, we bond over meals discussing our most recent culinary endeavors. I really do live my life all things food, and I believe it is one thing that connects us all—I mean everyone needs to eat, right?

By having a basic fundamental understanding of several different types of cuisine, I find that I can relate to almost any person and/or culture. And when someone starts talking to me about food, forget it! I get all sorts of worked up into a passionate discussion, obnoxiously waving my hands around as I go off on a million words per minute tangent. I think my boss genuinely fears when customers at our restaurant ask me for recommendations because he knows that I won’t be working during the half hour that I spend detailing every dish on the menu. Of course, you can probably also imagine how excited I get when people ask me for recipes! I love sharing great food with people, and was beyond excited when I received request for an Italian recipe this past week. It felt great knowing that someone actually wanted to hear what I had to say, and wasn’t just directed to my blog via facebook out of boredom. So I went through my recipe binder and pulled out a favorite pasta dish of mine—Fusilli with Pancetta and Creamy Mushroom Pea Sauce. This recipe makes for an awesome main dish or even side dish for meats. It is super easy to make and requires very little ingredients, so you won’t be spending a fortune at the grocery store!

I got this recipe out of an Eating Well Magazine a few years back and it caught my eye because it was a creamy pasta dish that was relatively light on calories. I love a good cream sauce, but try to stay away from them because I know just how many pounds a plate of alfredo sauce can set you back in your diet. This pasta dish is satisfying like a regular cream sauce but is much lighter and therefore in my opinion much more enjoyable. It almost like a macaroni and cheese crossed with an alfredo…its divine. The mushrooms add a great earthy flavor to and the spice of the cracked black pepper is a must!! Of course, you can always substitute the frozen peas for fresh English shelled peas, but I keep it simple and just cook the frozen ones out with the pasta.

Just be very careful not to burn the garlic when cooking this dish, so constantly be stirring the ingredients (especially after you add the mushrooms) and make sure the heat isn’t too high. Also, remember when cleaning mushrooms not to run them directly under water. To properly clean a mushroom, dampen a paper towel and gently wipe off the mushrooms. If you run a mushroom under water, it will absorb too much water and not cook properly.

This recipe will make enough for about 4-5 people, based on a 2 cup serving size. Enjoy!

{ Ingredients }

  • 8 ounces pasta (I use Fusilli)
  • 3 cups frozen peas
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 ounces prosciutto, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups quartered crimini mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • ¼ cup whipping cream
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

{ To Make Pasta }Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and peas and cook until tender. Strain.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat and cook prosciutto until it begins to brown, about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring until fragrant (careful not to burn!), about 30 seconds. Add mushrooms and cook until they release their juices and most of their liquid has evaporated. Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and stir to coat. Add wine and let simmer for 1 minute. Add chicken broth, return to simmer and cook, stirring until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cream and pepper.

Add the peas and pasta to the pan and stir to coat.

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