One of the greatest pleasures of cookery, especially when it involves a rich and varied repertoire from diverse environments, is that it gives your imagination free rein, and allows you to savour a different taste experience every day. For example, wouldn’t you like to try a special dish from the mountains such as straw and hay tagliatelle with a delicious sauce of creamy mushroom and pancetta, a combination that makes your mouth water just to read about it? This special pasta dish combines a gorgeous creamy mushroom sauce with crispy bacon browned in a pan beforehand. Can you think of anything more enticing when you are about to sit down together at the dining table? Be prepared to resist the temptation to start eating this dish while you are still making it!
Start by browning the garlic in a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil together with the chopped parsley. Then add the diced mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally. Adjust the salt. Divide the mushrooms into two and blitz one half in a blender with 3 tablespoons of cream and some parsley. Cut the pancetta into strips and, in a separate clean pan, gently brown and crisp it. Replace the creamed mushrooms in the pan with the whole mushrooms and the bacon. Mix well and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Cook the tagliatelle in boiling salted water. Drain, then mix with the sauce. Add the chopped parsley. If necessary loosen the sauce with another tablespoon of cream and some pasta cooking water.