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Mushroom Black Bean Pasta with Creamy Bacon & Coconut "Alfredo"


Happy What The Fork Wednesday!

Today I'm sharing with you a recpie based around one of my favorite foods, mushrooms! I used your good ol' portobellos in this dish, but you could use any mushroom. There are SO many different kinds of shrooms. Go to your local international market and you'll find close to a dozen different kinds. I have yet to experiment with many, but it's on my to do list.

Mushrooms are great for several reasons: low in cals, hearty flavor (can be used as a meat replacement, in fact I did for this recipe!), have tons of nutrients, and are extremely versatile. You can cook and season them in so many fashions! Personally, it doesn't get any better then a little olive oil, salt, 'n pepper on a sautée pan. Simple and delicious. Another favorite of mine is roasting whole portobellos in the oven with some balsalmic vinegar, then slicing into a thick chunk. Mmm!

Now, how 'bout this pasta?

Paleo, Gluten Free, Whole 30

Some notes:
The pasta sauce is made from full fat coconut milk + the forever magic combo of bacon, garlic, and shallots. And when I say magic combo....I mean it. I don't recommend skipping any of those ingredients in this dish. Even turkey bacon won't do the job. (Obviously sub out what you have to) They really do kick the flavor up to anotha level.

This black bean pasta is from Trader Joes and it's DELICIOUS. I have tried a few legume/veggie pastas and haven't had too much success. The texture usually ends up not so great to me...But this one. Perfect. AND the flavor is great. A good trick to help keep the pasta from sticking together - a tiiiiiny drizzle of oil (I used avocado oil) over the pasta after you boil & drain. And #1 rule: not over cooking it to mush! I boiled those swirly babies on the low end for eight minutes flat.  
Let's get to the recipe!

Ingredients: (Serves 2)
2 servings black bean pasta Spinach leaves
200g portobello mushrooms, sliced thin1 small shallot1 slice hardwood smoked bacon, diced (nitrate free if W30)
2 TBSP pressed garlic [ we LOVE garlic...go 1 TBSP if you maybe just "like" it ;) ]Olive oil 1tsp Arrowroot powder (not pictured) + 1 tsp water Sprinkle of Salt, pepper, & Italian seasoning (can omit if not on hand)
3/4-1 1/4 cup coconut milk Fresh herbs - I used Rosemary, oregano, and unpictured basil Black olives for topping.

1. Cook your pasta, drain, drizzle with oil, and set aside. Follow pasta cooking directions on packaging.
2. In a large pan, heat up a drizzle of oil, sautée garlic, shallots, and bacon until lightly browned or until bacon is done. Keep the heat on the lower end as to not burn the garlic!
3. Toss your goodies in a small separate bowl and set aside, leaving as much magic juices in the pan.
4. Lay out 1/2 of your mushrooms flat into the pan. Mushrooms need room to cook evenly, so don't overcrowd. They will only take seconds. (Pan should be on medium)
5. Sprinkle some herbs and a pinch of salt and pepper. Like the tiniest pinch ever. Let the shrooms cook for 45 seconds on one side, then flip and repeat. Don't over cook them!
6. Bring the pan down to low/medium, add in your bacon garlic shallot magic + coconut milk. Stir and bring to light simmer. Add the arrowroot/water combo. (Mix 1tsp arrowroot powder with 1 tsp water in a bowl).
7. Stir until sauce is thickened to liking. Feel free to do another round of arrowroot! 8. Add spinach and gently stir to wilt.
9. Lastly, stir in your pasta and serve!  Add in chicken or some meatballs for extra protein!

Y'all will love this one.
Bon Appetit friends,
Chels