Chaos in the Kitchen [Wild Mushroom Fettuccine]

Chaos in the Kitchen

Last time on Chaos in the Kitchen, I whipped up a delicious clam, fennel, spinach, and white bean concoction from the cookbook Weeknight Fresh & Fast by Kristine Kidd. The other night I made a simple yet incredibly gut-satisfying wild mushroom fettuccine!


Ingredients (for two servings)

  • Olive oil, 1 tablespoon (I use Portuguese olive oil)
  • Pancetta, 1 and 1/2 oz chopped
  • Large shallots, 3 diced
  • Garlic glove, 1 chopped
  • Dried thyme, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Wild mushrooms (portobello, shiitake, oyster, button)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Low sodium chicken broth, 3/4 cup
  • Butter, 1 tablespoon
  • Dry fettuccine, 6 oz
  • Parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup freshly grated
  • Flat-leaf parsley, chopped for sprinkling


  • Warm the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and sauté until brown (about 2 minutes). Add the thyme, shallots, and garlic, cook until they start to brown (about 4 minutes). Add the mushrooms, salt, and pepper to taste (put a lid on the pan if you have one, it’ll keep in the moisture). Sauté until tender (about 5 minutes). Add the chicken broth and simmer until syrupy (about 3 minutes without the lid).
  • This wasn’t in the book’s recipe but if you add a tablespoon of butter to the “syrupy sauce” it’ll thicken it a little bit and add a velvety texture as well.


  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Add pasta and cook until al dente (about 8 minutes).
  • Drain the pasta and add it to the mushroom mixture (keep a bit of the pasta water in case you find the dish too dry once plated).
  • Stir over medium heat until pasta is completely coated.
  • Divide portions, add parsley and grated parmesan.


Although it doesn’t look as good as the photo in the cookbook, I have to admit that this is one of the best pasta dishes I’ve ever eaten (and the first that I’ve made). There is so much flavour in every forkful, every mushroom has a distinct taste and when added with the pancetta, my goodness you’ve got an explosion of deliciousness in every bite.

My parents, sister, brother-in-law (who is an Exec. Sous Chef at One restaurant in Yorkville), my boyfriend, and my niece LOVED the meal and it felt satisfying to see six empty plates reach the kitchen sink. I can’t wait until the next time I get to take over the kitchen! I’ve got The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook coming my way and I’m hoping that my next recipe will come from there!

People who love to eat are always the best people!          — Julia Child

Love always, 
Vanessa XX

Chaos in the Kitchen [A NEW Semi-Regular Series]

Chaos in the Kitchen

As promised, the blog has been rather quiet lately, but there are just a few things I want to share with you before Christmas comes and goes. I live at home and as such, I have rarely had the desire or opportunity to cook for my family. I think the entire household assumed that apart from scrambled eggs, warmed-up leftovers, and grilled-cheese sandwiches, I could not cook. Well, a few weeks ago my mother had an idea (a wonderful awful idea). She decided that every Sunday someone else in the family would cook. Yesterday was my turn and also my inspiration behind this new blog series Chaos in the Kitchen, where I’ll feature all of the new recipes that I’m trying to whip up for my family.

“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook- try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!”
― Julia ChildMy Life in France


Thanks to a “fast, healthy, and fresh” cookbook that my sister and brother-in-law bought my boyfriend and I, I made a delicious concoction of clams, white beans, spinach, fennel, and chilli flakes. Keep in mind that the original recipe was for two servings, not four. It called for broccoli rabe and for you to throw the fennel in right at the beginning, but if you want them to keep a bit of a crunch, do it this way.


  • 2 fennel bulbs
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 1 tablespoon chilli flakes
  • 1 can of clams
  • 2 cans of white beans
  • 4 handfuls of spinach (or a bunch of your favourite green)
  • 25 manila clams (rinsed)
  • salt and pepper to taste



  • Get the biggest pan you’ve got and heat the olive oil, then caramelize finely chopped red onion and garlic. Add red chilli flakes, salt, and pepper to taste.
  • Add the can of clams, juice and all, stir it around and pour in the white wine. Turn the heat way up until it reduces (1-2 minutes or so).
  • Taste for salt and pepper, add as needed.
  • Turn the heat down to medium and throw in the beans and fennel, let cook until fennel has softened slightly.
  • Toss in the 4 heaping handfuls of spinach and then place the rinsed clams on top. Place the lid on tightly. Check on the clams every so often and give them a stir. Once they’ve opened, take the pan off the heat and serve.



And there you have it, a delicious, healthy Sunday night meal, made in one pan, and in less than half an hour! 

Vanessa Xo