So last night, some friends were coming over to watch about 3 episodes of “Project Runway.” Realizing that I could be a nice person and make them dinner, I invited them to come over a little early and got busy figuring out what we’d have to eat.
Here’s what happened (without pictures, because my camera is somewhere in the bottomless pit that is my purse).
1. I remembered this recipe for pesto cream sauce with bacon, mushrooms, and green onions. But I only had two of those ingredients. . . so it was time to have some fun and be creative!
• First, I chopped 5 pieces of bacon and cooked them until a little brown but not overly crispy in a bit of olive oil.
• I removed the bacon from the pan and replaced it with about 1/2 to 3/4 of a small chopped white onion and about five large chopped white mushrooms.
• After everything began to turn that beautiful golden brown, I added 1/2 cup chicken broth and 1/2 cup white cooking wine to the skillet. I let this cook on low heat until the liquid was reduced by half.
• I added 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream to the pan and stirred. I then added 3 spoonfuls of prepared pesto sauce and stirred to combined. At this point, I also added about 1.5 tablespoons of goat cheese so that the sauce would get creamier and thicker. I let the sauce bubble and simmer on very low heat, stirring frequently until right before my guests arrived. About 10 minutes before they were expected, I added in the bacon and about 1/2 cup Parmigano/Reggiano and let the flavors meld together. I served the sauce over penne prepared according to the package directions.
2. I made green beans, using part of the chopped white onion, a few pieces of bacon, Kosher salt, generous black pepper, a bit of garlic powder, some bacon, olive oil and my secret ingredient: Ken’s Italian salad dressing (just a dash).
3. I prepared a focaccia bread I’d bought at Trader Joe’s. It was amazing.
4. I served a New York style cheesecake (also from Trader Joe’s) on happy little dessert plates.
Good food, good friends, good time.