Using pancetta or smoked bacon gives this pasta a really gutsy flavour that compliments the chicken and mushrooms perfectly. This is a great way to use up left-over cooked chicken.


  • 1 piece of parmesan rind

  • 2 tbsp light olive oil

  • 85g/3oz pancetta or smoked bacon, rind removed and finely sliced

  • 200g/8oz spaghetti or linguine

  • 150ml/1/4 pint double cream

  • 100g/4oz sliced Portobello or field mushrooms

  • 140g/5oz leftover roast chicken, coarsely shredded

  • 50g/2oz mixed leaves, could be rocket or spinach leaves, roughly chopped

  • 2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan

  • Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 1.

    Pour the cream into a medium heavy-based pan, add the Parmesan rind and any bacon rind.  Bring to a gentle bubble and allow to reduce for 5-6 minutes.

  • 2.

    Place the pasta into a large pan of salted boiling water and cook for 4-5 minutes or until al dente.

  • 3.

    Meanwhile heat a heavy-based wok or large frying pan.  Add one tablespoon of the oil and then the bacon.  Cook the bacon for 2-3 minutes until really crispy.  Next add remaining oil and the mushrooms and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.

  • 4.

    Drain the pasta, tip into the frying pan and toss really well. Pour the cream into the pan through a sieve and add the cooked chicken. Season thoroughly with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then toss thoroughly again.

  • 5.

    Finally add the mixed leaves, give the dish one last toss and then serve immediately in warmed deep bowls, with the Parmesan sprinkled on top.

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