I have to be honest, when I auditioned for Next Level Chef, I genuinely thought I would be eliminated every round of the auditions. The basement is worse than it looks and although this part didn’t make the cut, almost all of my noodles fell out of the strainer that had a GAPING hole in the side of it on my way back to my station. I stared at my poor noodles on the ground and thought, “this is it. I will go home because of this.”
So when Gordon Ramsay tried my dish and said “its beautiful. I think its delicious and super creative” and then called me FIRST to move on to the next level, I couldn’t believe it. Grabbing in the basement is HARD because ingredients are minimal and low quality. Our challenge was to create a dish in under 20 minutes using canned ham and this is what I came up with. (Well, the recipe below is what I was TRYING to do and what I would have done had I grabbed all the ingredients I wanted lol)
It’s creamy, rich and delicious and as we know from the show, can be made in under 20 minutes. 😉
Ham and Mushroom Cream Pasta
- 4 strips of bacon, chopped
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 1 cup button or baby bella mushrooms, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 sprigs thyme, stripped
- Fettuccine pasta
- 2 egg yolks
- 2/3 cup (125ml) heavy cream
- 1/2 cup (40g) freshly grated parmesean cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large frying pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil and add chopped bacon. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms, thyme leaves, and garlic and saute for 5-6 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta as per box instructions (I like to make my water really salty like the ocean to help season the pasta!)
- While the pasta is cooking, mix together the egg yolks, heavy cream and cheese in a bowl.
- Reserve about 1/4 cup of the pasta water and then drain your pasta. Add pasta back to frying pan with the heat OFF and add the pasta water along with the egg, cream and cheese mixture.
- Return to very low heat and stir constantly for a few minutes until sauace thickens. Taste and season if needed. Always taste along the way and adjust to what tastes right!
- Divide between plates and finish with another sprinkle of cheese. Enjoy!!