Fusilli with Pancetta, Shiitake Mushrooms and Wilted Greens

When we returned from holidays, and we were still battling jetlag, we wanted some simple one-pot meals. This pasta dish recipe from Yasmin Fahr over at seriouseats.com only needed minimal shopping, cooking and washing up. A perfect fit. Besides the kale, all the ingredients are pretty much storeroom/fridge staples. I only found some baby kale (it’s getting pretty much towards the end of the season), so added some wild spinach in the mix.

The recipe is super easy to make and the flavors are blended nicely as you are using the same pan for everything: sautéing the pancetta, onions, garlic, dried chili and mushrooms and after removing the mixture using it for boiling the pasta and greens in the stock and mixing everything. The final touch of lemon juice and a grating of parmesan lifted the whole dish and made it even tastier. Ideal for a quick weekday dinner!

Recipe accuracy:
The recipe is pretty accurate and indeed serves 4.

Suggested tweaks:
The only thing that didn’t work out was that the stock (the recipe provides for 1 liter / 4 cups of stock on 500g /1 lbs of dried pasta) didn’t evaporate quite as much as expected. It could be that it was wasn’t boiling hard enough, but can be easily resolved by changing the sequence of the recipe a bit:

  • cook the pasta and the greens in the stock, but don’t add the mushroom mix just yet
  • when the pasta is almost cooked, and greens are wilted, reserve 125ml / ½ cup of the cooking liquid and drain the rest
  • add back the pasta and greens to the pan, combine with the mushroom mixture and start by adding half the reserved cooking liquid to the pasta to get a creamy sauce
  • add more cooking liquid spoon by spoon if needed

Verdict: 9/10; Will definitely be made again

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