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Creamy Mushroom and Bacon Pasta

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  • Creamy Mushroom and Bacon Pasta with a Japanese twist! A dash of soy sauce is the secret ingredient that gives nice umami and savoriness to the dish.

    Creamy Mushroom and Bacon Pasta on a grey plate.

    Whether it’s a Monday dinner for the family or a Friday date night, no one can dispute the idea of a rich, comforting and oh-so-good pasta like this Creamy Mushroom and Bacon Pasta. And yes, the Japanese love pasta just like anyone else. We love noodles and carbs, and we enjoy experimenting with global dishes, giving them some new dimension with our very own Japanese twist.

    Creamy Mushroom and Bacon Pasta with a Japanese Twist!

    In Japanese cuisine, there’s a thing calls the Japanese-style pasta or what we call Wafu Pasta (和風パスタ). They are essentially Italian pasta dishes that include a few Japanese condiments, and sometimes Japanese ingredients.

    In this Creamy Mushroom and Bacon Pasta, for example, I added shiitake mushrooms and shimeji mushrooms, to give new life to the western-style noodle dish. I also added a splash of soy sauce into the cream. You don’t need a lot of soy sauce here, but just the right amount to lend nice umami, depth, and savoriness.

    Some other condiments like miso, sake, tonkatsu sauce are also commonly used in western dishes (pasta, soup, main dishes etc). You don’t have to save Japanese condiments for Japanese food. Have fun experimenting!

    Here are some of Wafu Pasta recipes on the blog:

    Creamy Mushroom and Bacon Pasta on a grey plate.

    Versatile Creamy Mushroom and Bacon Pasta

    This recipe calls for 4 main ingredients: pasta, bacon, mushroom, and garlic, which are staples in the kitchen. But feel free to replace them with pretty much any other ingredients from your fridge. Here are some of my suggestions that would go with this creamy sauce.


    • Chicken
    • Ham
    • Sausage
    • Shrimp
    • Salmon

    Vegetables & Mushrooms

    • Spinach
    • Arugula
    • Kale
    • Asparagus
    • Portobello mushrooms
    • Oyster mushrooms
    • Chanterelle mushrooms
    • Enoki mushrooms

    Do you have any other good idea? Please share in the comments below!

    Creamy Mushroom and Bacon Pasta on a grey plate.

    5 Tips to Remember When Making Pasta

    The following tips will apply to the majority of pasta recipes you’ll be cooking.

    1. Use 4 quarts (4 L) of water for ½ to 1 lb of pasta.
    2. Add 1 ½ tablespoon of kosher salt (if table salt, use half) to the water.
    3. Typically, cook 4 oz (113 g, ¼ lb) of dried pasta per person.
    4. Cook pasta till al dente; slightly undercooked or “firm to the bite”.
    5. Reserve ½ cup (120 ml) pasta cooking water just in case you need to dilute your pasta sauce.

    Creamy Mushroom and Bacon Pasta on a grey plate.

    Love of Italian Food in Japan

    If you have never been to Japan, it’s probably hard to imagine that the Japanese cook and eat western food quite often. In fact, Italian restaurants are everywhere in Japan, and I mean everywhere. At home, we cook all kinds of pasta, some are with a Japanese twist (we call this type “Wafu Pasta” 和風パスタ).

    Several years ago I read an article in the San Francisco Chronicle about the growing Japanese influence on San Francisco food (It’s an interesting article to read if you have time). In the article, the editor Michael Bauer mentioned that chef David Kinch at Manresa said, “the best French and Italian restaurants in the world outside of France and Italy are in Japan. It is that amazing.” My neighborhood Italian restaurants in Yokohama serve superb Italian food compared to the local Italian restaurants here in my neighborhood in the US.

    When you’re in Japan and got tired of eating Japanese food, try an Italian restaurant and you might be pleasantly surprised!

    Creamy Mushroom and Bacon Pasta on a grey plate.

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    4.62 from 42 votes
    Creamy Mushroom and Bacon Pasta on a grey plate.
    Creamy Mushroom and Bacon Pasta
    Prep Time
    5 mins
    Cook Time
    25 mins
    Total Time
    30 mins

    Creamy Mushroom and Bacon Pasta with a Japanese twist! A dash of soy sauce is the secret ingredient that gives nice umami and savoriness to the dish.

    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: Japanese
    Keyword: bacon, mushroom, pasta
    Servings: 2
    Author: Nami
    • 4 slices bacon (⅓ lb)
    • ½ package shimeji mushrooms (60 g; or use any other mushrooms)
    • 4 cremini mushrooms (52 g; you can also use button mushrooms)
    • 4 shiitake mushrooms (52 g; or use any other mushrooms))
    • 1 ½ Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 cloves garlic
    For the pasta
    • 8 oz pasta (spaghetti, linguine, or fettuccine; 4 oz/113 g per person)
    • 4 quarts water (4 L)
    • 1 ½ Tbsp kosher/sea salt (I use Diamond Crystal; Use half for table salt)
    For the creamy sauce
    • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
    • freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour (plain flour) (20 g)
    • 1 cup milk (240 ml)
    • cup heavy (whipping) cream (80 ml)
    • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
    • tsp kosher/sea salt (I use Diamond Crystal; Use half for table salt)
    To Garnish
    • Parsley
    1. Gather all the ingredients.

      Creamy Mushroom Bacon Spaghetti Ingredients
    2. Add 1 ½ Tbsp salt in 4 quarts (4L) of water and bring it to a boil for cooking spaghetti. Meanwhile, prepare the rest of the ingredients. Once water is boiling, add spaghetti and cook according to package instructions. Tip 1: Stop cooking 1 minute earlier as you will continue to cook pasta in the frying pan. Tip 2: Before draining the pasta, reserve ½ cup (120 ml) pasta cooking water. Drain well and set aside.

      Creamy Mushroom Bacon Spaghetti 1
    3. Cut the bacon slices into ½ inch (1.25 cm) pieces.

      Creamy Mushroom Bacon Spaghetti 2
    4. Cut the bottom of the mushrooms and slice them. Cut the bottom end of shimeji mushrooms.

      Creamy Mushroom Bacon Spaghetti 3
    5. Remove the stem of shiitake mushrooms and slice them. 

      Creamy Mushroom Bacon Spaghetti 4
    6. In a large frying pan, heat 1 ½ Tbsp olive oil on medium heat. Note: if you use a non-stick frying pan, you can skip the oil.

      Creamy Mushroom Bacon Spaghetti 5
    7. Once the oil is hot, add the bacon and sauté.

      Creamy Mushroom Bacon Spaghetti 6
    8. Once the bacon fat renders, crush 2 cloves garlic and add into the pan.

      Creamy Mushroom Bacon Spaghetti 7
    9. Add all the mushrooms and saute together. Add 1 Tbsp butter and freshly ground black pepper.

      Creamy Mushroom Bacon Spaghetti 8
    10. Add the flour and make sure to keep stirring so the flour doesn’t stick at the bottom of the pan.

      Creamy Mushroom Bacon Spaghetti 9
    11. Stir in 1 cup milk, ⅓ cup heavy cream, and 1 Tbsp soy sauce. Continue scraping off the bottom of the pan. Flour will thicken the sauce.

      Creamy Mushroom Bacon Spaghetti 10
    12. Taste the sauce and add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste if necessary. If the sauce is too thick, you can add ¼ cup of pasta cooking water (after that, add a tablespoon one at a time) to dilute the sauce. Tip: You want to make sure it tastes a bit stronger than you want the final dish to be (because you will add spaghetti). 

      Creamy Mushroom Bacon Spaghetti 11
    13. Add cooked spaghetti in the frying pan, or alternatively, you can pour the sauce over the spaghetti on a serving plate. Using the pair of tongs, coat the spaghetti with the sauce.

      Creamy Mushroom Bacon Spaghetti 12
    14. If you like, add freshly ground black pepper. Serve and garnish with parsley.

      Creamy Mushroom Bacon Spaghetti 13
    Recipe Notes

    Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

    Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on March 9, 2011. It was updated with new images in February 2019.


    Difficulty: Easy
    Cooking Time: <45 minutes
    Makes 2 servingsIngredients:2 servings of spaghetti
    2 Tbsp. olive oil
    2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
    4 slices bacon, cut into ½” pieces
    3 mushrooms, sliced
    2 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
    1 pkg shimeji mushroom, cut off the base part of shimeji mushrooms
    Freshly ground black pepper
    2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
    1/3 heavy whipping cream
    1 cup milk
    1 cube vegetable bouillon
    1 Tbsp. soy sauce
    Freshly ground black pepper
    Parsley for garnishDirections:1. Start cooking spaghetti according to package instructions. Prepare the rest of ingredients. You can combine heavy whipping cream and milk in the same measuring cup.2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat olive oil on medium heat and cook garlic until fragrant.3. Add bacon and sauté.4. Add the three kinds of mushrooms and mix all together. Sprinkle pepper if you like.5. Stir in flour and keep mixing with wooden spoon. Constantly scrape off the bottom of the pan.6. Stir in whipping cream and milk and continue scraping off the bottom of the pan.7. Add bouillon and break it with the wooden spoon. Bring the sauce to a boil.8. When boiling, add soy sauce and mix all together.9. When the sauce gets thicken, add black pepper (and salt) to taste. Bacon is salty so I usually don’t put salt here.10. You can add spaghetti in the skillet to mix with the sauce, or you can pour the sauce over the spaghetti on a serving plate. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.
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