Awesome pasta recipe (Warning: Not health food!)

Sunday, we had another bacon, cheese and chocolate potluck at the house.  It was a huge success. Of course, I forgot to take pictures but some of my friends did and I’ll grab them as soon as I can.

I have to share my recipe with you because it was a huge hit and was super simple to make. I actually had everything on hand to make it! I adapted my recipe from this Taste of Home recipe. I know it’s not authentic pasta carbonara, I would actually rate it more an alfredo than a carbonara, so I’ll name mine that instead!

Bacon mushroom alfredo

  • 1 lb short cut pasta (I used bowties)
  • 1 lb of bacon
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 2 to 4 cloves of garlic (I used 4)
  • 2 4oz cans of sliced mushrooms or 80z package fresh sliced mushrooms
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 1/2 cups of half and half (I think fat free would work just fine)
  • 1 T dried parsley
  • 6 to 8 drops of hot sauce
  • black pepper to taste
  • 2/3 to 3/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese

Heat a large pot of water to a boil. Heavily salt the water and add pasta. Cook until al dente. You want to undercook the pasta a bit because it will cook a bit when you mix everything together. Drain the pasta when done and set aside.

While the pasta is cooking, dice the pound of bacon. Cook in a large skillet or wok until crisp. Remove the bacon to paper towels to drain. Drain the bacon grease reserving about 2 tablespoons in the pan. Add the onion and mushrooms to the pan. Mince or grate the garlic and add that as well. Cook until the onions are translucent and the whole thing is fragrant. Remove the mushroom mixture to a bowl.

In the same pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the remaining ingredients  to the butter. Raise heat to medium high and simmer until the sauce reduces and thickens. Add the mushroom mixture and the bacon back to the pan. Mix thoroughly, then add the pasta. Mix it all up and serve.

I know this is not the most diet friendly recipe, but you could use turkey bacon, a butter substitute and fat-free half and half. Plus, this recipe is enough to feed a good sized crew. Add a salad and some bread and you’ve got an awesome meal.

The potluck needs to make a comeback

My friend Allison has an interesting theory (actually it might be a law now in the scientific sense): Any food can be made better with the addition of bacon, cheese or chocolate. On January 2, 2010, we tested this theory by holding the 1st annual bacon, cheese and chocolate potluck at my house. Not only was I amazed by the shear number of friends who came to the event, but also by their creativity.

Aaron gets an A+ for making a dish with all three ingredients. He made stuffed french toast with bacon and drizzled with chocolate syrup. Jacie gets an A+ for making the most desserts (she brought 3, all of which had bacon in them). We had pizza with bacon, mac and cheese with bacon, Jacie’s apple pie with bacon, served with a slice of cheese. We had brussel sprouts, caramels, cupcakes, and brownies all containing bacon. It’s funny because you wouldn’t think it would work, but oh man, it worked. We even had chocolate covered bacon and bacon wrapped filet bites.

We had twenty people over for this event. Everyone brought food, drinks and paper supplies to share. We introduced a few people to the Wii for the first time.

It was a lovely party and the best part? It didn’t cost a small fortune. Since everyone helped out, we spread the cost around. What better way to share an evening with your friends than a potluck? The house was warm and full of good friends. We didn’t have to pay $20 per person for dinner and find a place that could hold us all. It was comfortable and relaxed. Everyone has asked me for the date for next year’s event. I believe it will be January 8.

So I challenge you during these cold winter months to invite your friends over for a nice pot luck dinner. Have a theme. Last night we were toying with the idea of having another pot luck soon, this time a maple theme since we were discussing maple syrup last night at my knitting group. I’m not sure I would recommend having a bacon, cheese and chocolate potluck unless you have two doctors and an EMT in attendance like we did.

Have you ever had a pot luck success? Maybe a cool themed potluck? Please share. We need more ideas!

Thanks to all my friends who made the bacon, cheese and chocolate potluck a smashing success. I can’t wait to do it again next year!