Keeping it real … Real Ale
The dish that I made here is a real Chelmsford collaboration, the beer is from Chelmsford microbrewery Round Tower Brewery and the fresh pasta I bought is from the excellent market restaurant Pastasciutta.
When I first moved to Chelmsford I was excited at the idea of living somewhere that had so much going on, compared to where I grew up where there wasn’t much of a high street or pubs. Simon Tippler the head brewer at Round Tower really makes great dark beer, Slipstream being the first Round Tower beer I had, a black IPA which I first had in The Alehouse in Chelmsford. The beer I have used for this dish was a special edition of the Slipstream Black IPA, it is an Oak Aged version and it won best beer at an Essex vs Kent beer festival I ran last year. Round Tower Brewery tend to brew different beers all the time, Slipstream being the only core product at present (I’d love to see a core range!), but there are always a few different beers available around Essex. With beers named after different parts of Chelmsford and its history, Round Tower really does represent the city I live in. With new additions to the brewery team and new plans to explore into more keg beers (after the success of Slipstream in keg) I am excited to see where Round Tower Brewery are heading.
Pastasciutta is nestled in the back of Chelmsford’s indoor market, right at the back in the far left hand corner. Cooking up delicious home-made pasta dishes to be taken away or eaten there at the market, Pastasciutta really is a hidden gem. Beautiful dishes at fair prices are listed on the back wall, with plenty of options for vegetarians and a special is always available. I am a big fan of any restaurant where you can view the chef cooking your food, at Pastasciutta you have choice of either sitting at high stalls by the kitchen, watching the chef do his thing, or in the newly opened seating area.
All the pasta is also available to take away and cook yourself at home. This is what I done with this dish, making this dish pure Chelmsford… Chelmsford beer, Chelmsford pasta, all cooked by a Chelmsford resident!
Round Tower Brewery Bacon & Mushroom Pasta
Slice all your mushrooms, dice your onions and mince your garlic. Add the garlic and onions to a large frying pan and cook for 2 minutes, then add the bacon and cook for a further 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook till they start to soften.
Add the can of coconut milk and give it a good stir. Add 2 good glugs of Round Tower Oak Aged Slipstream and mix it till the coconut milk turns a creamy brown. Add the spinach, this will cook in a minute or two.
Cook your pasta, if it dried pasta then follow the instructions or if it is fresh pasta cook in boiling water for 2 mins. Once the sauce is hot add the drained pasta and give it a good mix. Squeeze the lemon juice over the top of the pan and give it one final mix.
Bring it out the pan and add to your plates, decorate with chopped parsley and serve.
Disclaimer – Neither Round Tower Brewery or Pastasciutta knew I was making this dish, or asked me to write about them and I paid full price for both the pasta from Pastasciutta market restaurant and bottle of Oak Aged Slipstream from The Alehouse. Hopefully they like it!