Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Toasted Macaroni with Mushrooms

Foodgawker is one of my favorite websites. I go there almost daily to find inspiration for new recipes and photo ideas. When I saw this recipe, I had to have it. It had all of my favorite ingredients in it, and while Brian wasn't a fan ("too many mushrooms"), I LOVED it. I never would have dreamed of toasting dried pasta and have it come out so yummy. It brings out a nutty flavor to the pasta that you would not get with just boiling it in salted water. It's definitely a make-again for me, I'll just have to make it when Brian's not at home. :)

Toasted Mushroom Macaroni
Source: No Tea After 12

4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
8 oz. fresh mushrooms (approx 2 cups), thinly sliced
1 large or 2 small cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup dry white wine
8 oz uncooked macaroni or other pasta
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 cup cream
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
salt to taste

Heat a large heavy skillet over very high heat, add 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil to the pan. Saute the mushrooms until browned, but not cooked all the way through, about 2-3 minutes. Reduce the heat and add the parsley, garlic, oregano and cook for another minute or so. Pour in the wine and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Remove the mushrooms and remaining sauce to a bowl, and set aside.

In another large skillet or saucepan, add the remaining 2 Tablespoons olive oil and the butter. Add the macaroni and stir it constantly until it is a deep golden brown, this takes me about 5 minutes. But do watch it carefully, its a bit like toasting nuts, the moment you step away from the stove it goes up in flames. Burned pasta = icky poo poo.

Once toasted, pour in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered until the pasta is almost tender. I usually bring mine to the point just before al dente, it takes approximately 10 minutes.

Stir in the mushroom mixture and cream and cook for a few more minutes to let everything come together in a beautiful creamy but not claggy sauce. Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan and pepper. Taste for seasoning, add salt if needed, but the Parmesan is usually just salty enough. Sprinkle with a bit of fresh parsley, and more Parmesan (of course).

Serves 2 greedy pasta loving people, or 4 as part of a meal.

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