Mushroom and Bacon Pasta

Jan 29, 2013 by

You have no idea how excited I get when I find a good recipe. I mean a really good recipe. One that I wouldn’t mind having in weekly rotation. A recipe that is surprisingly pleasant to the palate. A recipe that is easy to make and works well when you really don’t know what on earth you are going to make for dinner tonight. I’ve had a few nights like that recently.

My friends, as simple as this recipe is, I think its lovely. I even managed to get my son to eat it. He questioned the mushrooms for a moment (I didn’t put a lot in his plate) but he finished his serving quite happily. I LIVE for moments like that!! I can’t wait for my daughter to follow suit and actually enjoy food. My husband enjoyed it immensely and  I will say, it is hard to impress him if there is no meat on his plate!


Mushroom & Bacon Pasta_1


Mushroom & Bacon Pasta

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 4


  • 12oz Rigatoni
  • 4 Slices Bacon
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 8oz Porcini Mushrooms
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 1 Tsp Dried Thyme
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 3/4 Cup Chicken Broth
  • 3 Tbsp Mascarpone
  • 3 Tbsp Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • 6 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper


  1. Prepare pasta according to package instructions
  2. In a large hot skillet, add bacon and cook until crispy. Remove from skillet and place on a paper towel to absorb oil. Chop bacon into bits
  3. In the same skillet, add olive oil
  4. Add onion, thyme and garlic. Saute for about 3 minutes on medium high heat.
  5. Add mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes
  6. Add broth and bring to a gentle boil. Add mascarpone and stir to combine
  7. Drain pasta and add to skillet
  8. Toss until combined and coated in the creamy sauce
  9. Transfer to serving plates and sprinkle generously with parmesan


Adapted from


I guess I cheated and added bacon to this dish. Bacon is the magical ingredient that seems to give (almost) any dish the upper hand. I had a vision and I ran with it. I adapted a Mushroom Pasta recipe and decided to add bacon because I thought it would pair nicely with the mushrooms. I also substituted white wine for chicken broth.


Mushrooms in skillet with chicken broth and mascarpone

Mushrooms in skillet with chicken broth and mascarpone


I’ll be honest, mushrooms are not my favourite food. But in a recipe like this? I will have it and I will enjoy it. I love a good pasta dish. This certainly satisfied any carb cravings I had. I also loved how the mascarpone just melted into the broth and gave it such a creamy sauce-like texture…without the cream! Brilliant!


Mushroom and Bacon Pasta

Mushroom and Bacon Pasta


I’m always looking for easy meals that can nourish and satisfy. I believe this is definitely one of them.

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Chicken, Linguine and Crimini

Mar 2, 2012 by

I’m getting to like this business of freestyle cooking (cooking without a recipe). It adds a little mystery to meals. It’s kinda cute when my husband asks “whats cooking?” and I say “Oh, you’ll see *bats eyelashes*” when what I really mean to say is “Honey, I have no idea!”. I’ve always been pleasantly surprised at how great the meals turn out. I LOVE it. One of my recent freestyle meals was Smoked Paprika Chipotle Chicken with Spirali Pasta and Kale Pesto. I had ingredients that I wanted to use and I ran with it.

My ingredient for today’s post is Crimini Mushrooms. I can’t say that I’m a big fan, however I wanted to be adventurous and incorporate it into a meal. It’s a great thing to challenge yourself. I knew I wanted pasta, and I knew I wanted it creamy. I just wanted a quick way of doing it, while utilizing items in my Pantry. So anyway, the idea was born on a recent trip to the grocery store. Crimini Mushrooms were on sale so I grabbed a pack and here is what I came up with.


Chicken, Linguine, Crimini


I will say, that when I am preparing a freestyle meal, I get really focused and sometimes I don’t get to take photographs of the process. So I only have the finished result today. It tasted great and I got my little man to eat it! He only questioned the mushrooms half way through, but he ate everything in his plate. You should have seen him slurping the pasta. The things that bring mothers joy. *insert big smile here*


Chicken, Linguine and Crimini
Recipe Type: Main
Author: Lyn of The Lovely Pantry
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 35 mins
Serves: 3
A quick family meal using Crimini Mushrooms
  • Linguine Pasta
  • Grapeseed Oil to cook the chicken
  • 3 Chicken Breasts (Skinless, Boneless)
  • 2 Tsp All Purpose Seasoning
  • 1 Cup Sliced Crimini mushrooms
  • 1 Can Low Fat Cream of Chicken Soup (284 ml)
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1/2 Cup Low Sodium Chicken Broth (or whatever you need)
  1. Season chicken breasts with salt, pepper, all-purpose seasoning
  2. In a hot skillet, add grapeseed oil and cook chicken 6-8 mins on both sides over medium high heat until cooked through and juices run clear. Set aside
  3. Set pasta to boil, following the directions on the package (I used half a pack)
  4. In a warm skillet, add olive oil. Add onions and saute until translucent
  5. Add crimini, and saute until soft, about 5-7 minutes
  6. Season with salt and pepper
  7. Add can of cream of chicken soup
  8. Stir to incorporate
  9. If you find it too thick, add broth until you have reached your desired consistency
  10. When pasta is cooked, drain and add to the skillet with the mushrooms
  11. Toss to incorporate
  12. Plate immediately and serve with sliced chicken on top


Chicken Breast, Linguine Pasta and Crimini Mushrooms

Hows that for dinner in a jiffy?

Have a great weekend!!!


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Creamy Orzo With Pancetta

Jan 30, 2012 by

I had an opportunity to try a pasta called orzo. It’s a small pasta shaped like a grain of rice quite suitable for salads, soups, risotto or creamy pasta dishes. It’s a wonderful addition to my Pantry. This is a very quick and easy week night meal that I hope you’ll enjoy as much as I did. I made quite a few changes to the original recipe but I was more than happy with the result. Sometimes, all you need is an idea to get your creative juices flowing. The texture of this recipe reminds me of a risotto since the pasta has to absorb the liquid that it is cooked in.

I enjoyed making this dish and I can actually think of a few variations that I would love to try – like meatless, or with chicken instead of the pancetta. I love that there are so many options. The first time I made this dish… I forgot the cheese. I’ll just call that the “reduced calorie” version :-) It looked pretty though, and tasted great too.

Orzo with Pancetta


Creamy Orzo With Pancetta

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes


  • 1/4 Cup Diced Pancetta
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 Small Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 Cups Orzo
  • 2 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth (low-fat, low-sodium)
  • 1/2 Cup Green peas (thawed from frozen)
  • 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper


  1. In a dutch oven (or deep pot), melt butter
  2. Add garlic and stir for about a minute
  3. Add onion, then sauté until translucent
  4. Add Orzo and allow to "toast" in order to bring out the flavour
  5. Add salt and pepper
  6. Add broth and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally
  7. When orzo is fluffed up, add pancetta, stir and allow to warm through
  8. Add green peas. Stir to combine
  9. Add parmesan and stir
  10. Allow to warm through, about 3-5 minutes
  11. Serve and enjoy


Here’s how I made it. So easy. I bet you’ll be making this meal this week :-)


Onion, Garlic, Orzo


Once broth has been absorbed, add Pancetta


Add peas



Add parmesan cheese. Stir to combine



I remembered to add the cheese this time :-)



So creamy…

Yes, dinner was good. My boys loved it.


This recipe was adapted from Everyday Food


Happy Monday!!! ~Lyn

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Happy New Year 2012!

Jan 3, 2012 by

I just wanted to start the year off by thanking everyone for all their support and encouragement since I created The Lovely Pantry. I have so many ideas for recipes and concepts for photographs. I’ve grown so much and met so many wonderful people along my journey so far. I’m excited and grateful to be able to continue my passion through this medium. The holiday season has been quite busy for me, to say the least. But it was wonderful to be around friends and relatives and to share meals and watch the children play together. I miss my own family immensely (parents, brother, cousins etc) but hopefully I will get to see them later this year. There’s nothing like having your own family with you during the holidays! I’m still very thankful and blessed for those that I have around me that make me feel “at home”.

Now that things are slowing down a little bit, I have a lot of posts to catch up on! I have a few goals for myself which includes posting more often, improving my photography, meeting more foodies and making bread! Those are just a few things I have on my list. Below are some photographs of a meal I prepared for an informal gathering at my home during the holidays. No recipes today. :-) I still have to show you what I cooked for my own family after Christmas. I found a new love for cookies! My husband says he thinks he’s found his new favourite cookie – this may mean trouble for me! :-)

The menu is as follows, served with Jamaican style Rice and Peas:

Lemon Herbed Salmon. I’ve made this before – here’s the recipe. Underneath that herbed crispy topping, is moist salmon. It was lovely.


Lemon Herbed Salmon with steamed veggies


Veal Pastitsio – a definite crowd pleaser. I really love it, especially because my children enjoy it.


Veal Pastitsio


My guests specifically requested Oxtail! I aim to please! I don’t have oxtail very often but I definitely indulge the few times for the year that I actually make it. It brings back memories of Jamaica.


Oxtails & White Kidney Beans


Perhaps I went a little overboard, but you have to know that I enjoy feeding people. I also love getting feedback from my experiments! So basically I used the Ginger Carrot Bread recipe and modified it. I split the batter in 2 and used smaller loaf pans to bake them in. I made a plain Ginger Carrot Bread, and another with raisins. I modified the same recipe and used Vanilla Chai Soy beverage instead of carrot juice. I made it before so I knew what it would taste like however, this time (again, I split the batter) I made one with dark chocolate chips and the other with dried cherries. Then of course I made a cake that I had not tried before – Orange cake made with orange rind and freshly squeezed orange juice. Heavenly! I will be posting that recipe very soon!


Orange Cake, Vanilla Chai Bread x2, Ginger Carrot Bread x2


After a night of entertaining, I decided to make cookies. I don’t usually make cookies but I realized if I’m going to be a kitchen Goddess, I need to be able to make everything! :-) They turned out to be a success and I was even able to give them as gifts during the holiday season. Well, not the one’s my hubby loved the most.


Ginger Molasses Cookies


And finally, this is the reason my husband adores me. Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. No flour required. I was even able to use low-fat peanut butter, clearly for my own satisfaction. I plan to use organic peanut butter next time to see if there’s any major difference in the taste. That’s our secret though. He doesn’t have to know.


Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies


I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and enjoyed ringing in the New Year. I wish everyone the utmost success in everything they hope to achieve and accomplish this year and beyond. 2012 is going to be an awesome year filled with personal growth and wonderful friendships! I believe this, so I know it will become reality!

Join me on Facebook as I will be sharing some more photographs there too. I share my own recipes and photographs, as well as beautiful recipes by culinary artists all over the world on Twitter. Follow me!

Say hello to me anytime.

Take care.



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Smoked Paprika Chipotle Chicken with Spirali Pasta and Kale Pesto

Dec 16, 2011 by

Every now and again I tend rebel. I’ve been using recipes because that’s how I learned to cook. But some days I just want to throw caution to the wind and follow my heart and do what comes to mind. And that’s exactly what I did. I gave my friends on Facebook a quick peek at what I prepared. Because I didn’t follow a recipe, I don’t have a fancy name for it so the ingredients will have to do for now.

On my recent grocery shopping trips, I picked up a few items just for fun. White/Black Truffle Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Smoky Paprika Chipotle Seasoning. Both completely out of my comfort zone but I’m all about expanding my horizons. The risk was well worth it. Although I did hold back, just a little.

I used Kale for the “pesto” because I really like the health benefits and it has a nice flavour. However, after smelling the Chipotle seasoning (that bad boy is strong), I opted to leave the cheese and any form of nut from the pesto. Traditional pesto consist of  Basil, Parmesan or Romano Cheese, Olive Oil, Pine Nuts and Garlic. It makes me smile to myself and ask the question – is it still really pesto if it doesn’t have cheese and nuts? Ah well. It tasted great so I’m still calling it pesto. There. I’ll try it with all the ingredients next time.


Black / White Truffle Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Smoky Paprika Chipotle Seasoning

Smoked Paprika Chipotle Chicken



Kale Pesto


Smoked Paprika Chipotle Chicken with Spirali Pasta and Kale Pesto
Recipe Type: Entrée
Author: Lyn from The Lovely Pantry
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 40 mins
Serves: 4
A spicy meal suitable for any day of the week
  • 5 Chicken Breast Cutlets
  • 2 Tbsp Smoked Paprika Chipotle Seasoning
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 3 Cups Spirali Pasta (Or any pasta you have – Penne or Fusili)
  • 1 Cup frozen Kale, defrosted
  • 2 Tbsp White Truffle Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Frozen Sweet Corn, thawed (optional)
  1. Prepare Pasta according to package instructions
  2. Season chicken on both sides with salt, pepper and chipotle seasoning.
  3. In a large skillet, cook chicken for about 5-7 minutes on each side or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear.
  4. In a small food processor, combine Kale and White Truffle Olive Oil.
  5. Drain pasta. Add Kale and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Cut chicken into strips. Serve with pasta and corn as garnish if desired.


Smoked Paprika Chipotle Chicken, Pasta, Kale Pesto & Sweet Corn


There’s no need to panic if you didn’t plan dinner tonight. The possibilities are endless…





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