It is delicious with just these ingredients but I like adding the cream to give the whole dish some richness & a little decadence.
Recipe and photo by Christina from Strawberries For Supper.
Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 20 mins | Serves: 4
4 slices pancetta, chopped
250g crimini or button mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
225g linguine (about ½ a package)
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/3 cup whipping cream (35% cream)
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan (plus more for serving)
75g (or 2 loosely packed cups) baby spinach
½ cup pasta cooking water – reserved to loosen sauce if needed
Salt and pepper to taste
2. In a large frying pan, add olive oil and pancetta and fry pancetta until it is crispy. Meanwhile, slice the mushrooms.
3. When the pancetta is crispy add the butter and sliced mushrooms with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Saute over a medium high heat until the mushrooms are brown. Add the garlic and saute for a few minutes. If you add it earlier, it could burn. After you start sautéing the mushrooms, start cooking the pasta. Boil the pasta according to package directions until al dente (about 7 minutes).
4. When the mushrooms are done add the lemon juice and zest. Stir the lemon juice around to deglaze the pan.
5. Add the cream and Parmesan cheese. If the pasta is close to being done, add the spinach. If you need a bit more time then turn the heat off the frying pan and when the pasta is just about done, turn the heat back on the frying pan and add the spinach then. Stir the spinach around to wilt it over a medium heat.
6. Before draining the pasta, take out about ½ cup of the pasta cooking water.
7. Drain the pasta when it is al dente and add the pasta to the frying pan. Stir it around with the mushrooms, spinach, and lemony cream sauce. Add a few splashes of pasta cooking water until you achieve a light sauce consistency. Add more salt and pepper to your taste if needed.
8. Serve immediately with extra Parmesan cheese.