Pantry Pasta


Spaghetti with a sauce of Bacon, Mushrooms, Squash, Red Pepper, Garlic, Shallot, Basil & Pine Nuts

Intro Collage

It was just the girls and I tonight for dinner as Michael is still on business in Tokyo and Max was visiting with friends overnight up North in Sonoma County.  I spent the day running errands in preparation for our departure next week to Montana.  The girls were at the barn all day.  We three, very tired ladies met up at home just before 7:00pm.  The house was unusually quiet without the boys and the girls, rather than retreating upstairs to relax a bit after their long day, kept me company as I chopped all the vegetables for dinner.  A bit of chopping, boiling some water and a quick sauté resulted in an incredibly flavorful, fresh dinner that was ready in about 30 minutes.  The small amount of the left-over “sauce” that topped our spaghetti tonight will make a wonderful accompaniment to eggs for breakfast in the morning.

I first came across a recipe for pasta Tritato {Italian for finely chopped, diced or minced} here and it sounded interesting.  I made my own version this evening using what I had in my pantry and refrigerator.

Peppers and squash from the weekend farmers’ market…

Dried Matsutake mushrooms that were hiding in my pantry…


And I was going to use this lovely linguine {I even photographed it!} but at the last minute opted for a plain spaghetti because I thought the dinner plate might end up looking a bit, well…wild…


Pantry Pasta

  • 4 slices of thick-cut bacon, finely chopped
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 cloves of garlic, pushed through a garlic press
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 ounce, dried Matsutake mushrooms {you can use a handful or two of fresh mushrooms and save a step}
  • 1 green and 1 yellow summer squash, stems removed and diced
  • 15-20 fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese 
  • A squeeze of fresh lemon juice {optional}
  • ½ pound of dried pasta, prepared according to package directions

  1. Rehydrate the mushrooms by placing them in a glass bowl and covering them with boiling water.  Let soak for 20-30 minutes then drain and chop.  Set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat and add the bacon, cooking until golden brown and beginning to crisp {roughly 6-8 minutes}.  Remove the bacon from the pan and drain on a papery towel-lined plate.
  3. Add the onion to the pan and cook, stirring often, until it begins to soften and becomes a bit translucent {about 5 minutes}.  Add the garlic and cook for about a minute or until it becomes fragrant.  Add the peppers and the squash and cook for 5 minutes.  Then add the mushrooms and bacon and continue cooking until everything is slightly caramelized {about 5 more minutes}.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the basil, toasted pine nuts and a handful of parmesan cheese.  Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Place some of the prepared pasta on individual serving plates and top with some of the Pantry Sauce, a bit more cheese and a squeeze of lemon if desired.  Serve immediately.

The final dinner plate…



K Initial


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