Fusilli with Bacon, Onions, and Mushrooms

Prep Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
30 mins

No mushrooms in the fridge? Saute some greens instead. This dish is also delicious with just onion and bacon (or pancetta or sausage).


  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 3 slices thick-cut bacon or pancetta, cut into ¼-inch pieces (about ¾ cup)

  • 1 large yellow onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (3 cups)

  • 10 ounces cremini mushrooms, trimmed and cut into ¼-inch slices (3 cups)

  • ¾ pound fusilli or other short pasta

  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh mint or parsley leaves, chopped

  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, finely grated (¾ cup)


  1. While bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil, heat oil and bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until bacon fat is rendered and bacon is golden brown, about 8 minutes. Add onion and a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 8 minutes.

  2. Pushing onion and bacon to edge of skillet, add mushrooms to center, in a single layer as much as possible. Raise heat to medium-high, and cook, without stirring, until mushrooms begin to sizzle and brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, sprinkle mushrooms with salt, and stir onion and bacon into mushrooms. Cook mixture, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender, about 3 minutes.

  3. When water boils, add pasta to boiling water, and cook until almost al dente, about 10 minutes (do not drain water). Transfer pasta to skillet using a strainer. Reduce heat to low, and gradually stir in 1 cup pasta water, about 1/2 cup at a time. Toss over low heat until sauce is silky and pasta is well coated, 2 to 3 minutes.

  4. Turn off heat. Stir in mint or parsley, and half the cheese. Season with pepper. Divide among 4 bowls, and top with remaining cheese.


Cook's Notes

Slicing (rather than chopping) the onion creates the best shape for tossing with pasta. Browning the mushrooms unlocks their savory flavor; rather than pulling out another pan, move the cooked meat and onion to the side so the mushrooms have as much contact as possible with the hot surface of the skillet.

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