It is chanterelle mushroom time here in Northern California.  My friend, Lynn, gave me these beauties that her husband found on a hike.

I decided to make some pasta with them.  I looked in the refrigerator and I had some fresh thyme, creme fraiche, and bacon.  This collection of goodies was getting me hungry.  So, I cooked the bacon in a skillet  until crisp and then added the mushrooms and thyme and cooked the mushrooms until they lost all their moisture.  I cooked some pasta and reserved the pasta water.  Pasta water is a great help in making a sauce out of some cheese or roasted vegetables.  It adds some moisture and makes the sauce stick to the pasta.  I drained the pasta, added the mushroom/bacon mixture, and added spoonfuls of creme fraiche wetted with pasta water.  And, voila, a delicious warm winter meal.

Chanterelles, bacon, creme fraiche, and thyme — these are ingredients that were meant to be together.

Chanterelle & Bacon Pasta with Thyme & Creme Fraiche

1 pound of pasta

4 slices of bacon, diced

1 pound of fresh chanterelles, chopped

salt and ground pepper to taste

4-6 tablespoons of creme fraiche

1-2 teaspoons of fresh thyme, chopped

1.  Cook bacon in a pan over medium high heat until just crisp.  Add chanterelles and thyme and cook until mushrooms lose their moisture.

2. Meanwhile, boil water and cook pasta according to instructions on box.  Drain pasta and reserve about 1/4 cup of pasta water.  Put drained pasta in empty pot.

3.  Add chanterelle/bacon/thyme mixture to pasta.  Add 1 generous tablespoon of creme fraiche and add 1 tablespoon reserved pasta water to turn the creme fraiche  into a sauce.  Keep adding creme fraiche and pasta water until the sauce is the thickness that you like.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Note:  Creme fraiche may sound like an expensive or exotic ingredient; but, it is getting easier to find.  I got creme fraiche at Trader Joe’s.

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