Ben Cooper's Creamy Pasta with Chestnut Mushrooms, Celeriac, Carrots and crispy bacon lardons
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Ben Cooper's Creamy Pasta with Chestnut Mushrooms, Celeriac, Carrots and crispy bacon lardons

April

Artichoke, Beetroot, Cabbage, Carrots, Celeriac Chicory, New Potatoes, Kale, Morel Mushrooms, Parsnips, Radishes, Rhubarb, Rocket, Sorrel, Spinach, Spring Greens, Spring Onions, Watercress.


Creamy pasta with chestnut mushroom, celeriac, carrot and crispy bacon lardons

Serves 4 - 5

INGREDIENTS

creamy pasta ingredients

  • 300g of dried pasta (rigatoni or spaghetti work well)
  • Pictured is a Tri-gigli pasta
  • 200g smoked lardons
  • 2 (100g) shallots
  • 1 medium sized (300g) celeriac
  • 150g (1 large) carrot
  • 200g chestnut mushrooms
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4-5g of picked thyme leaves (if the stalks are tender you can chop finely and include within the 4-5g)
  • 270ml double cream
  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • salt and freshly cracked black pepper

To garnish - fresh parsley if desired

METHOD

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium to high heat. Fry the lardons for 8-10 minutes or until golden and crisp, stirring regularly.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti for 7 mins, or until al dente (to the bite). Once cooked, drain and refresh with cold water until it's cold. Leave in a colander to drain. 
  3. Once the lardons have cooked, turn off the heat and remove the lardons with a slotted spoon and place on a plate with kitchen roll to absorb some of the excess grease. Take the saucepan off the heat, leaving the lardon oil in the pan. 
  4. Prepare the vegetables  - remove the outer layer off the shallots, remove the root and cut lengthways and slice.
  5. Carve off the outer skin on the celeriac, cutting the top and bottom off first to make sure the celeriac is stable on the chopping board. Dice into approximately 1cm cubes (pieces).
  6. Peel the carrot and dice into approximately 1cm cubes (pieces). Wash and the chestnut mushrooms and cut into quarters.
  7. Put the large saucepan (with the lardon fat) on a medium heat and fry the shallots, celeriac, and carrot with bay leaves for approximately 8-10min or until al dente. 5 minute into cooking add the chestnut mushrooms and the picked thyme. 
  8. Pour the cream into the vegetables and warm to a very gentle simmer. 
  9. Add in the cooked pasta and half the golden lardons and gently stir so the pasta is evenly coated and mixed with cream, vegetables and lardons. Turn up the heat and cook for an further 3-5 minutes to get the pasta hot. 
  10. Season with salt bearing in mind the lardons will be salty and freshly cracked black pepper. 
  11. Serve in pasta bowls and sprinkle with some of the remaining lardons and if desired freshly chopped parsley.

Ben Cooper's Creamy Pasta