Spicing Up Your Basic Dishes

Remember the post I did on whether I cook every day? Well, it seems that sometimes what one needs is a little more time, practice and commitment, then it gradually blends into your routine and you barely realize it when you start doing it. I think I have been cooking almost every other day of late, because suddenly we have a lot of leftovers from different meals, and we manage to carry lunch to work every day. This is an improvement from someone who thought they could never hack having packed lunch for two every day. It seemed impossible, actually at one point it was impossible to even entertain the thought. Look at us now.

Today it’s about that meal that over the years you have been so basic with. You know the kind that you’re so used to cooking and eating in the most basic way. Put in some water, let it boil and voila, your meal is ready. For me it has been Pasta (and Spaghetti). It was that one meal that we prepared because we’d run out of options on what to cook and well, ‘why not quickly fix some pasta/spaghetti along with some minced beef?’ It was until I got some exposure that I realized that there were so many other ways to prepare it. I know, I know, I am also like, ‘we live, we learn.’

Now, when it comes to pasta dishes, I am unstoppable. I have been really enjoying the different ways in which I can make them and just trying them out has put my palate in a happy place. I was so happy with the results of the last pasta dish that I made, so much so I had it for dinner, lunch and dinner again. And at least I got the same feedback from my guinea pigs (the hubby and sister), and it’s not like I had pressed them against a wall and force fed them, although I would have if they didn’t like this one in particular. Ha ha. Have you ever been so sure that something is so good that you don’t need validation from others? That even if they don’t find it delicious, you’ll assume that it’s their palate with a problem, and not the dish.

This one was a Creamy Mushroom & Bacon Pasta. I don’t know what name it’s universally given now that Italians have names for the different kinds of pasta dishes. The closest I know it comes to is Carbonara, just that I didn’t use eggs. I didn’t want it too rich either. Here’s the recipe I concocted in the kitchen, which is as simple as it gets, but definitely not basic.



  • Pasta – Boiled for about 7-10 mins or rather until ready then rinse it with cold water
  • Bacon – pan fried for a few minutes till it browns and then cut up to chunks
  • Button Mushrooms – sliced and fried with some onions, soy sauce and black pepper for 5-7mins or until ready
  • Spices – Black pepper / Spanish paprika / Garlic/ Ginger and any other spices you might fancy
  • Blended – Tomatoes, Coriander with Double Cream – I added some little milk and some little sugar to taste
  • Chopped Onions
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Salt


  1. In a pot, pour about 2 table spoons of vegetable and add the chopped onions. Let them fry until almost browning.
  2. Add the cooked bacon and mushrooms. Mix them up and add the spices and some salt to taste as you go. Let it cook a bit and for the spices to be infused.
  3. Add the blended cream mixture and let it cook until it starts to boil.
  4. Add the pasta and mix it together until all the cream has covered all the bases.
  5. Then it’s ready to serve!

Yo! This dish was too delish. There was no telling me otherwise, I enjoyed every bite. Try it out and let me know how yours turns out. You can decide to change it up and put your creativity to work.

To make this a little more interesting, what is that basic dish you’d like to spice up? Share with us and let’s see how we can spice it up together. There’s nothing as fun as experimenting in the kitchen as you cook, as long as you’re doing it from the heart and you have the basics in place.

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*