My husband and I recently ate at a restaurant which we both liked a lot, especially from a price and service standpoint, but he was disappointed in a dish he ordered call "Hay and Straw Pasta with Peas, Mushrooms and Pancetta in Double Cream." This was spinach and regular linguine, and the rest of it is obvious.
I'll admit he likes things very creamy and rich. He doesn't eat that way all the time, but when he goes out to eat he kind of expects the restaurant to lay it on pretty thick, so to speak.
At any rate, we both agreed that this dish was really dull. It seemed to maybe be undersalted, fairly tasteless, and the sauce was thin and boring. I promised to make it for him for his birthday, which is this weekend, and make it better. But I'm not sure how. I'm thinking along the lines of a fairly rich basic white sauce, but with lots of good quality Reggiano. And, I think pancetta is pretty much a waste of money. Also, my semi-veggie daughter in law will be coming for the birthday dinner, which adds a wrinkle. I can't use pancetta or real bacon, but thinking I might try something baconlike, but am concerned turkey bacon might not cut it. Just not sure. Are there soy substitutes that might be decent? Probably not, but thought I'd ask. If it were essential, I could also use real bacon, and just make her something else.
I would love any suggestions you might have . . . especially if you've made a version of this you love.