The smokiness of the bacon, the earthiness of wild mushrooms and the richness of the Stilton all mesh perfectly together to showcase the signature flavor of Spicy Vines on a canvas of orecchiette.
For this recipe I was asked to showcase how cooking with Spicy Vines compliments meat and we chose one of our favorite meats, bacon, to prove it. This is is a relatively simple recipe with a beautiful gourmet profile that is sure to dazzle all lucky enough to taste it. Serve with a big green salad and a glass of rich red (spiced) wine.
- ½ pound thick smoked bacon, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
- 1 pound mixed mushrooms of choice, sliced
- 1 finely chopped medium yellow onion
- 4 finely chopped garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 ½ cups Spicy Vines Original Blend
- 1 cup mushroom stock
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon crushed red hot peppers
- Black pepper and sea salt
- 6 oz. fresh arugula (or about 3-4 cups packed)
- 1 ½ cups grated hard cheese, such as parmesan or pecorino
- 1 cup crumbled Stilton cheese
- 6 cups dried or fresh orecchiette
- In a Dutch oven or other large pot with a lid, add the bacon and onion and fry on med-high heat until onion begins to wilt and the bacon begin to brown. Add the garlic. Cook 3-4 minutes, stirring often, until you begin to see the garlic start to brown. Reduce heat to medium. Begin heating a large pot of salted water for pasta.
- Add the mushrooms and tomato paste. Season well with salt and pepper and stir to combine with mushrooms and bacon. Add a splash of olive oil if more oil is needed to coat mushrooms. Cook for about five minutes, or until mushrooms look coated with oil and bacon fats.
- Pour in the red wine and mushroom stock, and add the oregano, basil, red pepper, and more salt and pepper. Stir well and bring to a strong boil. Turn down heat to a simmer and let simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While the sauce simmers, cook the pasta to al dente. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water when drained.
- Add the pasta and arugula to sauce, and mix well to make arugula wilt. Slowly add shredded cheese and pasta water to sauce. Taste flavors and add more salt and pepper if desired. Serve immediately and garnish with crumbled Stilton.
45 minutes total time
Makes 8 Servings
Notes: For a healthier recipe use less bacon and cheese. Any mushrooms may be used, even button mushrooms are fine. If using dried mushrooms reserve soaking liquid for stock. Chicken, vegetable, beef, or most stocks will work fine if you do not have mushroom stock lying around. We prefer the mild flavor of Stilton cheese for this dish, but other similar cheeses will be fine as well.