courgette and mushroom 'pasta' with walnuts, bacon and parmesan

there is no doubt in my mind that part of the reason why i cook is just pure, unadulterated greed. i like eating and eating like this allows me to eat stuff that's good for me - and a lot of it.

so when i tell you that i rushed home before going out tonight to rustle up a quick meal with the leftover walnut crema from yesterday, it should come as no surprise. all day i've been mulling over what i could do with it, and what i've got in the fridge. i didn't really know until i got home. and then it came to me: a pretend pasta dish.

and i tell you, it was bloody nice, even if i say so. admittedly, there is an element of - if you fried my size 9 left foot with some bacon and cheese, it would probably taste pretty good. so in that sense, it's not a surprise. but it was more than that - the walnut sauce was creamy and sweet and moreish, the courgette had a little bit of bite left, and the mushrooms had melted in the sauce. it was closest i'd got to pasta since we started eating paleo last year and it kind of reminded me that i don't really miss the taste of it but i do miss the ease with which you could put a dish like this together.

i left some in a bowl for r to try but i am not convinced it's going to last. i had to stop myself from eating it all and licking the pan by physically walking out of the kitchen.

for one, when hungry

2 courgettes, sliced very thinly (i used a mandolin but you could do it with a knife - they should not be more than 1/2cm thick)
a handful of mushrooms, which even kind you have, sliced finely
2 tbs finely chopped parsley
2 thin slices pancetta or streaky bacon
some grated parmesan cheese
olive oil

in a non-stick frying pan, fry the pancetta till crisp. you can probably do this without any oil or with just a drop. take out of the pan and drain on some kitchen paper. in the bacon fat, fry the courgettes and the mushrooms with a good pinch of salt on relatively high heat, until soft and browning in parts. this will take a while - both courgettes and mushrooms are full of water and you want this to evaporate. add half of the parsley while they are cooking.

when you think they're done, add the walnut crema and stir it in. i say 3 tbs but you can put as much or as little as you like. warm it through, stir in the rest of the parsley and serve with the crisp pancetta slices and the grated cheese on top.

PS got home at midnight (had to walk around police lines as kids are stabbing each other again) to find an empty bowl and a bottle of chilli sauce on the side. oh.


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