After three days of salads with a slice of bread on the side as well as half a bowl of mushroom soup (this kind of diet will definitely keep the Plano cosmetic dentist at bay!), I was hankering for something more substantial but not rice. Rice is slowly beginning to bore me, especially the Asian way of serving rice – with side dishes. I miss risottos and paella, and although there is the humble fried rice, there is the issue of cooking it with way too much oil. Gah.
I had some leftover mushroom soup (thanks to Campbell) and some capsicum (one of our favourite vegetables) plus some yummy smoked pork belly in the fridge and I thought, why not whip up something with some pasta? Hence the dish above. If you’re worried about the overpowering taste of mushroom, there isn’t any. Instead the sauce is subtly flavoured by the smoked pork with a tinge of sweetness in the capsicum. The overall result was a very thick, smokey ham-pepper-mushroom concoction which begs to be eaten! And it’s quick to whip up too!
Ham, capsicum & mushroom cream pasta
A handful of smoked pork belly
1 medium-large yellow capsicum
Half a can of Campbell mushroom soup
Pepper to taste
- In a pot, bring some water and a teaspoon of salt to boil before adding in the pasta to cook.
- In a non-stick wok or pan, dry fry the smoked pork (the fat from the pork is sufficient) for a few minutes until fragrant and slightly crisp before adding in the capsicum. Stir fry for a few minutes to slightly soften the capsicum (they won’t be mush) and then proceed to add in the soup with about 50ml of water, depending on how thick you want your sauce to be.*
- Season the sauce with some pepper – no salt is necessary as the soup base is already salty – and put aside when cooked. Reduce if necessary.
- When the pasta is done, drain and toss into the sauce while it’s still hot/warm. Dish immediately and serve warm on its own or with a sprinkle of cheese (parmesan, cheddar, etc – it’s a personal choice).
* This is not an exact science and don’t worry if you add a little bit more water than you intended to. Just cook the sauce longer to reduce it.