Pasta with Ricotta, Bacon, Mushroom Sauce!

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Pasta with Ricotta, Bacon, Mushroom Sauce is creamy, rich, decadent, comforting, and downright delicious!  And it really could not be an easier dinner.  After just a bit of prep, it comes together so quickly on the stove. 

You get the creaminess from the ricotta that is infused with a fantastic garlic backdrop.  The mushrooms give a meaty and earthy bite.  Then the bacon adds smokey and salty highlights.  For a bit of color and texture, I also added Soy beans – or shelled edamame!  My family all hate peas, so this was the perfect fresh substitute. 

Quick Stovetop Dinners

Having some quick stovetop dinners on your go-to list can be a lifesaver for busy families.  I love to have different types too, so some rice, pasta, quinoa, veggie, or just fillings for tacos or sandwiches.  Here are some of my family’s favorite Easy Stovetop Dinners!

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

You need a large skillet/frying pan for making the sauce and mixing in the pasta. I use my absolute favorite 12″ Ceramic Pan, which is great because food really does slide right off with minimal oil and I don’t have to worry about food sticking and burning. 

And mincing garlic is made super easy with a Garlic Press.

PREP-AHEAD STEPS FOR YOUR PASTA WITH RICOTTA, BACON, & MUSHROOMS

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are steps you can prepare ahead to save time on busy nights! (See the full recipe below) 

To prep for this you simply need to dice the bacon.  If you need to, mince the garlic and slice the mushrooms.  Also, make sure that your shelled edamame are thawed if needed.

That’s it!  

Can I replace the edamame?

Of course.  The edamame (soy beans) add more protein to this recipe if you are planning to make it the main dish.  However, if you want to make it a side or add in chicken or other protein, you can add any veggies you like!  Peas are great in this, or diced carrots, zucchini, spinach, kale, broccoli, or sweet peppers.

Can I use turkey bacon or pancetta?

Of course, however, you may not get the amount of fat as you would with bacon for cooking the mushrooms.  If you use turkey bacon, you are likely to get no fat rendering, so just add in olive oil for the mushrooms.  Pancetta will render some fat, but supplement as needed.

COOK YOUR PASTA WITH RICOTTA, BACON, & MUSHROOMS

While the pasta cooks, preheat a large skillet or frying pan on medium heat. Add the diced bacon. Separate the pieces into a single layer using a spatula. Let the fat render and the bacon start to crisp – about 10 minutes.

To the bacon, add the mushroom slices and spread out into a single layer. Cook for about 8-10 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the mushrooms have a nice sear on both sides. Add the edamame beans and garlic to the mushrooms and stir to combine.

Mushroom slices and Bacon bits cooking in pan for Pasta with Ricotta, Bacon, Mushroom Sauce on stove. It's creamy, rich, decadent, comforting, and downright delicious!

Turn the heat to the lowest setting and add the half and half to deglaze the pan and scrape up any of the browned bits. Then add the ricotta cheese, dried oregano, salt, and pepper. Mix to combine the sauce. Add the pasta to the sauce (or sauce to the pasta) and toss to combine. Add in 1/4 of the reserved pasta water to the pasta and toss again. Transfer to a serving platter or plates and garnish with fresh parsley.

Cream, mushrooms, edamame, and Bacon bits cooking in pan for Pasta with Ricotta, Bacon, Mushroom Sauce on stove. It's creamy, rich, decadent, comforting, and downright delicious!

Spatula mixing Ricotta, Bacon, Mushroom Sauce in pan on stove. It's creamy, rich, decadent, comforting, and downright delicious!Pasta added to pan with Ricotta, Bacon, Mushroom Sauce on stove. It's creamy, rich, decadent, comforting, and downright delicious!

What to serve with this Pasta?

This pasta is really the star, so you can go very simple with any added protein.  I like to add a very simple grilled, seared, or roasted Mediterranean Chicken breast.  You can also serve sauteed or grilled shrimp.  Or how about these amazing Healthy Meatballs with Zucchini!!

Can you make this entirely ahead?  Can you freeze it?

Yes, you can make this entire dish ahead, mix the sauce with the pasta, and then warm up up to 5 days later.  To warm it, you may want to add a touch of half and half or milk to loosen it up.  Then warm it on the stove in a covered pot on low heat, stirring often to ensure it doesn’t brown.  Or you can reheat it in the oven covered at 350 F degrees for 20 minutes or until warmed in the center.  Or you can reheat it in the microwave.

You can freeze the entire dish, though it may get mushy upon reheating.  Rather, I would freeze just the sauce and after thawing, mixing it with fresh pasta and warming it all up as mentioned above.  

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Pasta with Ricotta, Bacon, Mushroom Sauce on a plate with fork and pan in background. It's creamy, rich, decadent, comforting, and downright delicious! Finally, shelled edamame for a bit of color and texture!
Pasta with Ricotta, Bacon, Mushroom Sauce on a plate with fork and pan in background. It's creamy, rich, decadent, comforting, and downright delicious! Finally, shelled edamame for a bit of color and texture!
5 from 1 vote
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Pasta with Ricotta, Bacon, Mushroom Sauce

Pasta with Ricotta, Bacon, Mushroom Sauce is creamy, rich, decadent, comforting, and downright delicious!  And it really could not be an easier 30-minute dinner.  You get the creaminess from the ricotta with a fantastic garlic backdrop.  The mushrooms give a meaty and earthy bite.  Then the bacon adds smokey and salty highlights.  Finally, shelled edamame for a bit of color and texture!

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword Bacon, mushrooms, pasta, ricotta
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 4 strips Bacon
  • 6 ounces White Button Mushrooms, Sliced
  • 6 ounces Cooked Shelled Edamame
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced 1 teaspoon
  • 1/2 cup Half and Half
  • 16 oz Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces Uncooked Rigatoni or other short cut pasta

Instructions

Pre-Ahead Steps

  1. Dice the bacon strips. Chop the parsley. Mince the garlic, if needed. Slice the mushrooms, if needed.

  2. If your edamame is frozen, soak in warm water or put into the microwave to thaw.

Cooking Steps

  1. Bring a large pot of water up to a boil. Add a tsp of salt to the water and then add the pasta to the boiling water and stir so they do not stick together. Bring back to a boil and cook for 7-8 minutes until al dente. Save 1 cup of pasta water, drain the pasta and add it back to the pot and cover while you finish the sauce.

  2. While the pasta cooks, preheat a large skillet or frying pan on medium heat. Add the diced bacon. Separate the pieces into a single layer using a spatula. Let the fat render and the bacon start to crisp – about 10 minutes.

    Bacon bits cooking in pan for Pasta with Ricotta, Bacon, Mushroom Sauce on stove. It's creamy, rich, decadent, comforting, and downright delicious!
  3. To the bacon, add the mushroom slices and spread out into a single layer. Cook for about 8-10 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the mushrooms have a nice sear on both sides. Add the edamame beans and garlic to the mushrooms and stir to combine.

    Mushroom slices and Bacon bits cooking in pan for Pasta with Ricotta, Bacon, Mushroom Sauce on stove. It's creamy, rich, decadent, comforting, and downright delicious!
  4. Turn the heat to the lowest setting and add the half and half to deglaze the pan and scrape up any of the browned bits. Then add the ricotta cheese, dried oregano, salt, and pepper. Mix to combine the sauce. Add the pasta to the sauce (or sauce to the pasta) and toss to combine. Add in 1/4 of the reserved pasta water to the pasta and toss again. Transfer to a serving platter or plates and garnish with fresh parsley.

    Spatula mixing Ricotta, Bacon, Mushroom Sauce in pan on stove. It's creamy, rich, decadent, comforting, and downright delicious!

Quick & Easy Pancetta, Parmesan, & Pepper Pasta

Pancetta, Parmesan, and Pepper Pasta on plate with fork and skillet in back. The Pancetta gives a salty and slightly peppery flavor, Parmesan cheese creates a nutty and creamy sauce, and the ground black pepper gives a peppery flavor that makes this pasta stand out. #pasta #easypasta #easydinner #dinner #italian #familydinner #onpotdinners #onepandinners #parmesan
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Pancetta, Parmesan, and Pepper Pasta in skillet. The Pancetta gives a salty and slightly peppery flavor, Parmesan cheese creates a nutty and creamy sauce, and the ground black pepper gives a peppery flavor that makes this pasta stand out. #pasta #easypasta #easydinner #dinner #italian #familydinner #onpotdinners #onepandinners #parmesan

Raise your hand if pasta is the go-to dinner for the kids in your house?  I hear ya, Mama!  Well, there are times to push beyond pasta.  And there are other times to just embrace it and go all out PASTA!!  Today, I am going all out with this 30-Minute Quick & Easy Pancetta, Parmesan, and Pepper Pasta, which is creamy, peppery, and absolutely delicious. 

The Pancetta is diced to give a salty and slightly peppery flavor and meatiness in every bite.  The Parmesan cheese creates this nutty, salty, and creamy sauce coating every piece of pasta.  And last, but not least, the ground black pepper gives that peppery flavor that really makes this pasta stand out. 

Pancetta, Parmesan, and Pepper Pasta on plate with fork holding bite. The Pancetta gives a salty and slightly peppery flavor, Parmesan cheese creates a nutty and creamy sauce, and the ground black pepper gives a peppery flavor that makes this pasta stand out. #pasta #easypasta #easydinner #dinner #italian #familydinner #onpotdinners #onepandinners #parmesan

Pancetta Comes to the Cacio e Pepe Party

Dave and I went to Italy last summer to celebrate our 10 year Anniversary.  In Rome I had the most amazing, mouth watering Cacio e Pepe, which is Cheese and Pepper Pasta.  This recipe is my variation on that traditional dish.  First, I’m adding Pancetta, which is the Italian version of bacon.  It’s pork belly that is sliced and cured, but not smoked, rolled with salt and pepper. 

Second, I am using Gluten Free Pasta.  You can of course use your favorite pasta for this recipe, but I do recommend a long pasta shape, such as Angel Hair, Spaghetti, or fettuccine to really combine with the parmesan to get creamy and delicious.

Pancetta, Parmesan, and Pepper Pasta on plate with fork. The Pancetta gives a salty and slightly peppery flavor, Parmesan cheese creates a nutty and creamy sauce, and the ground black pepper gives a peppery flavor that makes this pasta stand out. #pasta #easypasta #easydinner #dinner #italian #familydinner #onpotdinners #onepandinners #parmesan

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  But, I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

PREP-AHEAD TO MAKE YOUR PANCETTA, PARMESAN, & PEPPER PASTA

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are the steps you prepare in the day(s) in advance and store in the fridge as your meal Kit… (See the recipe below for more details) 

This is one of those dishes that tastes so incredible that you think it MUST take all day.  But it seriously takes only 3 steps and less than 30 minutes to pull together from scratch!  

The 3 steps are (1) Cook the Pancetta, garlic, and lemon juice in a skillet (2) add the Pasta (3) mix in the parmesan, pepper, and pasta water.  That’s it!

The only things you can do in advance is to dice the Pancetta and mince the garlic. This should only take a few minutes, so you can do it 3-4 days in advance or right before cooking.

Diced Pancetta for Pancetta, Parmesan, and Pepper Pasta. The Pancetta gives a salty and slightly peppery flavor, Parmesan cheese creates a nutty and creamy sauce, and the ground black pepper gives a peppery flavor that makes this pasta stand out. #pasta #easypasta #easydinner #dinner #italian #familydinner #onpotdinners #onepandinners #parmesan

COOK YOUR PANCETTA, PARMESAN, & PEPPER PASTA 

For this recipe, you need a large frying pan or skillet.  I use my absolute favorite 12″ Ceramic Pan, which is great because food really does slide right off with minimal oil and I don’t have to worry about food sticking and burning.  

While the pasta is cooking…Preheat a large skillet on high. Add the diced Pancetta. You shouldn’t need any oil in the pan as the pancetta has a lot of fat that will render. Stir the meat around with a spatula to prevent it from sticking. Cook about 4-5 minutes until the fat is rendered and the Pancetta pieces are just starting to crisp.

Diced Pancetta in skillet for Pancetta, Parmesan, and Pepper Pasta. The Pancetta gives a salty and slightly peppery flavor, Parmesan cheese creates a nutty and creamy sauce, and the ground black pepper gives a peppery flavor that makes this pasta stand out. #pasta #easypasta #easydinner #dinner #italian #familydinner #onpotdinners #onepandinners #parmesan

Turn the heat down to low and add the minced garlic and lemon juice. Stir and cook for 2 minutes. Then turn off the heat.

Diced Pancetta cooked in skillet for Pancetta, Parmesan, and Pepper Pasta. The Pancetta gives a salty and slightly peppery flavor, Parmesan cheese creates a nutty and creamy sauce, and the ground black pepper gives a peppery flavor that makes this pasta stand out. #pasta #easypasta #easydinner #dinner #italian #familydinner #onpotdinners #onepandinners #parmesan

Hand squeezing half a lemon over cooked diced Pancetta in skillet for Pancetta, Parmesan, and Pepper Pasta. The Pancetta gives a salty and slightly peppery flavor, Parmesan cheese creates a nutty and creamy sauce, and the ground black pepper gives a peppery flavor that makes this pasta stand out. #pasta #easypasta #easydinner #dinner #italian #familydinner #onpotdinners #onepandinners #parmesanScoop the pasta out of the water and add it to the skillet, saving the pasta cooking water. It’s ok of you get some water in the skillet with the pasta. Drizzle the pasta with a tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil and then mix the pasta with the pancetta, garlic, and lemon juice.

Measure out a cup of the pasta water and let the pasta and the water cool to warm, not steaming hot, about 10 minutes. You do NOT want the cheese to melt into clumps when you add it! After 10 minutes, add the parmesan cheese and ground pepper to the pasta and immediately combine the parm and pasta using tongs or a couple large forks. You want the parmesan cheese to coat all of the pasta.

Pasta with Parmesan cheese and ground pepper on top in skillet for Pancetta, Parmesan, and Pepper Pasta. The Pancetta gives a salty and slightly peppery flavor, Parmesan cheese creates a nutty and creamy sauce, and the ground black pepper gives a peppery flavor that makes this pasta stand out. #pasta #easypasta #easydinner #dinner #italian #familydinner #onpotdinners #onepandinners #parmesan

Last, drizzle in the water a little at a time, each time mixing until the parmesan starts to get creamy. If it starts to clump, the water is still too hot and you need wait until it cools a bit more. Continue this until you have added all of the measured out pasta water. You can always add a bit more if needed.

Drizzling water over pasta mixed with parmesan, pepper, and pancetta in skillet.  Pancetta, Parmesan, and Pepper Pasta is so easy. The Pancetta gives a salty and slightly peppery flavor, Parmesan cheese creates a nutty and creamy sauce, and the ground black pepper gives a peppery flavor that makes this pasta stand out. #pasta #easypasta #easydinner #dinner #italian #familydinner #onpotdinners #onepandinners #parmesan

Tongs mixing Pancetta, Parmesan, and Pepper Pasta in a skillet. The Pancetta gives a salty and slightly peppery flavor, Parmesan cheese creates a nutty and creamy sauce, and the ground black pepper gives a peppery flavor that makes this pasta stand out. #pasta #easypasta #easydinner #dinner #italian #familydinner #onpotdinners #onepandinners #parmesan 

ENJOY!

😍 Carrie

Pancetta, Parmesan, and Pepper Pasta on plate with fork. The Pancetta gives a salty and slightly peppery flavor, Parmesan cheese creates a nutty and creamy sauce, and the ground black pepper gives a peppery flavor that makes this pasta stand out. #pasta #easypasta #easydinner #dinner #italian #familydinner #onpotdinners #onepandinners #parmesan

Pancetta, Parmesan, and Pepper Pasta on plate with fork. The Pancetta gives a salty and slightly peppery flavor, Parmesan cheese creates a nutty and creamy sauce, and the ground black pepper gives a peppery flavor that makes this pasta stand out. #pasta #easypasta #easydinner #dinner #italian #familydinner #onpotdinners #onepandinners #parmesan
5 from 1 vote
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Pancetta, Parmesan, & Pepper Pasta

This Easy one-pan meal, Pancetta, Parmesan, and Pepper Pasta is creamy, pepper, and absolutely delicious.  The Pancetta is diced to give a salty and slightly peppery flavor and meatiness in every bite.  The Parmesan cheese creates this nutty, salty, and creamy sauce coating every piece of pasta.  And last, but not least, the ground black pepper gives that peppery flavor that really makes this pasta stand out.  #pasta #easypasta #easydinner #dinner #italian #familydinner #onpotdinners #onepandinners #parmesan 

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Keyword easy dinner, family dinner, parmesan, pasta
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Cooling Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 496 kcal
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 4 oz Pancetta
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 Lemon
  • 10 oz Spaghetti pasta, Gluten Free or Regular
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Salt

Sauce

  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 tsp Pepper
  • 1 cup pasta cooking water
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Instructions

Prep Ahead

  1. The only things you can do in advance is to dice the Pancetta and mince the garlic.  This should only take a few minutes, so you can do it 3-4 days in advance or right before cooking.

    Diced Pancetta for Pancetta, Parmesan, and Pepper Pasta. The Pancetta gives a salty and slightly peppery flavor, Parmesan cheese creates a nutty and creamy sauce, and the ground black pepper gives a peppery flavor that makes this pasta stand out. #pasta #easypasta #easydinner #dinner #italian #familydinner #onpotdinners #onepandinners #parmesan

Cook

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and then add a tbsp of olive oil and a tsp of salt.  Add the spaghetti and stir while cooking for a minute so the pasta doesn't stick.  Bring back to a boil and cook for 7-10 minutes until it reaches desired consistency.

  2. While the pasta is cooking...Preheat a large skillet on high.  Add the diced Pancetta.  You shouldn't need any oil in the pan as the pancetta has a lot of fat that will render.  Stir the meat around with a spatula to prevent it from sticking.  Cook about 4-5 minutes until the fat is rendered and the Pancetta pieces are just starting to crisp.

    Diced Pancetta cooked in skillet for Pancetta, Parmesan, and Pepper Pasta. The Pancetta gives a salty and slightly peppery flavor, Parmesan cheese creates a nutty and creamy sauce, and the ground black pepper gives a peppery flavor that makes this pasta stand out. #pasta #easypasta #easydinner #dinner #italian #familydinner #onpotdinners #onepandinners #parmesan
  3. Turn the heat down to low and add the minced garlic and juice from half a lemon.  Stir and cook for 2 minutes.  Then turn off the heat.

    Hand squeezing half a lemon over cooked diced Pancetta in skillet for Pancetta, Parmesan, and Pepper Pasta. The Pancetta gives a salty and slightly peppery flavor, Parmesan cheese creates a nutty and creamy sauce, and the ground black pepper gives a peppery flavor that makes this pasta stand out. #pasta #easypasta #easydinner #dinner #italian #familydinner #onpotdinners #onepandinners #parmesan
  4. Scoop the pasta out of the water and add it to the skillet, saving the pasta cooking water.  It's ok of you get some water in the skillet with the pasta.  Drizzle the pasta with a tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil and then mix the pasta with the pancetta, garlic, and lemon juice. 

    Pasta added to cooked pancetta in skillet for Pancetta, Parmesan, and Pepper Pasta. The Pancetta gives a salty and slightly peppery flavor, Parmesan cheese creates a nutty and creamy sauce, and the ground black pepper gives a peppery flavor that makes this pasta stand out. #pasta #easypasta #easydinner #dinner #italian #familydinner #onpotdinners #onepandinners #parmesan
  5. Measure out a cup of the pasta water and let the pasta and the water cool to warm, not steaming hot, about 10 minutes.  You do NOT want the cheese to melt into clumps when you add it!  After 10 minutes, add the parmesan cheese and ground pepper to the pasta and immediately combine the parm and pasta using tongs or a couple large forks.  You want the parmesan cheese to coat all of the pasta.

    Pasta mixed with parmesan, pepper, and pancetta in skillet for Pancetta, Parmesan, and Pepper Pasta. The Pancetta gives a salty and slightly peppery flavor, Parmesan cheese creates a nutty and creamy sauce, and the ground black pepper gives a peppery flavor that makes this pasta stand out. #pasta #easypasta #easydinner #dinner #italian #familydinner #onpotdinners #onepandinners #parmesan
  6. Last, drizzle in the water a little at a time, each time mixing until the parmesan starts to get creamy.  If it starts to clump, the water is still too hot and you need wait until it cools a bit more.  Continue this until you have added all of the measured out pasta water.  You can always add a bit more if needed.  That's it!  Serve and Enjoy!

    Tongs mixing Pancetta, Parmesan, and Pepper Pasta in a skillet. The Pancetta gives a salty and slightly peppery flavor, Parmesan cheese creates a nutty and creamy sauce, and the ground black pepper gives a peppery flavor that makes this pasta stand out. #pasta #easypasta #easydinner #dinner #italian #familydinner #onpotdinners #onepandinners #parmesan