WARNING: This recipe is dangerous. Dangerous to your arteries, your tastebuds and your relationship. If you have never made a recipe of mine, you must make this one. That's not a threat, that's a fact.
The first time I made this dish, I delivered my husband's plate and then went back to retrieve his beverage. When I returned, he said, "We're going to call this OGT!"
"O--G--T???" I asked.
"Yup, Olive Garden Topper!" And then he ate his body weight in pasta.
Here's what we need for the plate of heaven:
Mushrooms, Milk/Cream/Half&Half, Bacon, tube shaped pasta, Butter, Parmesan Cheese and Hot Sauce...That's it!
Start your water boiling for the pasta.
Bacon, to dice or not to dice. As a rule, I'm not a before-cooking-bacon-dicer. I prefer to cook the strips whole and then chop them up. But in this case, I made an exception. First, because my sister might read this recipe and she HAS TO do it as the recipe says. Second, because this was thick-sliced bacon, it would stay together when I chopped it up.
Diced bacon in pan, cook over medium heat to crisp, but not burnt.
Remember to salt your water as it flavors the pasta. A couple of teaspoons or a tablespoon is fine.
You want to use a tube-shape pasta for this recipe as it allows the sauce to take refuge in the cavity. But, if in a pinch, any pasta will do.
Mushrooms!! Hello fungus, how I've missed you! I tend to go on fungus streaks, where I'll put mushrooms in everything. Then the hubby has to talk me down from the ledge and say "Really, I think we've had enough mushrooms for a while." I don't rinse these as the remaining water will spatter in the bacon grease. Just brush off any adhering dirt.
Give 'em a rough chop. I like to see my mushrooms in the pasta.
Scamper on out to your herb garden and grab some fresh parsley. What? You don't have fresh parsley? Well, I suppose dried will do. Barely, but it will do.
When the bacon is almost done, remove it with a slotted spoon to drain on some paper towels. The bacon will continue to cook even after you remove it from the pan, so err on the side of not-quite-done.
Carefully add the mushrooms to the bacon grease, we don't want any spatter burns.
Drain your pasta, give it a good toss or two to get out all the water hiding in the tubes.
Measure out your cream/half&half. Add it to the pasta pot.
The mushrooms continue to sizzle...don't they look wonderful!
Add the butter. If you use margarine, you'll regret it, I promise.
Add the garlic. I had fresh green garlic from the garden!
It hasn't formed full cloves yet so you can cut it like an onion! Plus, use the green part!
Here's my favorite kitchen gadget...the kitchen shears! I use it all the time in place of a chopping knife and cutting board.
Flat leaf Italian Parsley. I like it better than that pompous curly stuff.
Add the hotsauce. Now, with such a small amount, you may be tempted to forego the hotsauce. And that would be the "Fatal Mistake" (to quote an NDSU professor).
Add the noodles back in to the pot.
Retrieve your bacon from the hiding place. Hiding place? Yes, the hubby and Kiddo1 are bacon fiends. Kiddo1 calls it "Baca" and cries for it at night.
Ahhhh, Parm, I love you!
Add the mushrooms.
Then give the pasta a good toss, working that delicious sauce into noodles.
Grab your green onion and the kitchen shears and snip, snip, snip your way into pasta bliss. We add the green onion at the very end so that it doesn't cook, just adds the onion flavor.
Here's the steamy money shot...pun intended!
Now, if that doesn't just make your heart pound, your mouth water, and your knees weak, I don't know what will.
And as the nearest Olive Garden is 90 miles away...we'll be dining on this again.
Thank you Simple & Delicious for this recipe:
2-1/2 cups uncooked mostaccioli
8 bacon strips, diced
1 jar (4-1/2 ounces) whole mushrooms, drained
3/4 cup half-and-half cream
1/3 cup butter, cubed
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon minced garlic
6 to 8 drops hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt, optional
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup sliced green onions
Cook mostaccioli according to package directions.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels to drain. Brown mushrooms in drippings; remove to paper towels. Drain drippings from pan.
Add the cream, butter, parsley, garlic, pepper sauce and salt if desired to the skillet; cook and stir over medium heat until butter is melted. Drain mostaccioli; add to cream mixture. Stir in the bacon, mushrooms and cheese; heat through. Remove from the heat. Sprinkle with green onions. Yield: 4 servings.