Maybe it’s the short days, or the freezing temperatures, but around this time of year I inevitably fall into a rut in the kitchen. The same old cold-weather standbys just don’t beckon like they do in October and November, and I start dreaming of spring (which is a long way off around here). And maybe because I spent all of December in the kitchen, I’m just not in the mood for menu-planning or cooking anything requiring more than a couple of steps.
So, I decided I would buy some fresh ingredients, and then once at home, surely something would fall together. It did. A pasta hearty enough for winter, but with some fresh Italian parsley to wake up the taste buds. And the best part? It took me about 30 minutes to prepare. Thought you might enjoy this for a quick weekend treat, or a dark night in following days while we wait out winter. To keep the mood festive, we had a nice glass of 2008 Vacqueyras from Domaine La Garrigue which went perfectly with the earthiness of the pasta. Cheers!
Crimini & Fettucine
by Stephanie Kunstle
Serves approx. 4 adults
- 1 lb. fettucine
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- extra virgin olive oil
- 4-5 small shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 8 oz. Crimini mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
- 1/4 c. pine nuts, toasted
- small to medium handful of Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- parmesano reggiano for shaving
- Heat butter and 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large sauteé pan over medium-low heat.
- Add sliced shallots and cook gently until softened (about 5 minutes).
- Add mushrooms and turn heat up to just above medium, and sauteé, stirring frequently until they release their water, shrink, and become just darkened. Remove from heat, and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Meanwhile, add pasta to salted boiling water and cook until al dente.
- In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, toast pine nuts, moving frequently until they release their nutty aroma and begin to turn golden. Remove from heat.
- Strain fettucine, and then toss in a large bowl with mushrooms, shallots, pine nuts, and freshly chopped parsley. Drizzle generously with olive oil, and then top with shavings of parmesano reggiano. Buon appetito!