Toasted Mushroom Macaroni
Pasta! Pasta! Pasta! It's what I could eat every day from now until the day I die if my skinny jeans and my guilty conscience would allow me to. I love it plain with butter, pepper and parmesan. I love it with a beefy bolognese, I love it with sundried tomatoes, I love it with pesto. I love it hot. I love it cold. I am pretty sure I was Italian in a former life, and if not i'll definitely be pushing for it in the next life.
This is such a simple recipe, and in many cases you are likely to have everything to make it in your cupboards and fridge. The only thing I would say here is, as it does use so few ingredients work with the best quality you can get, wallet permitting. I only had button mushrooms in this case and that's how Mom used to make it so this version is just as I remembered it, but using something like wild mushrooms, porcini, or chanterelles would make this dish very special indeed. For me, the toasted pasta is what really makes this recipe stand heads and shoulders above other mushroom pastas. Its such a simple treatment but imparts deep flavor and a warm golden hue to the dish. It's easily adaptable to whatever kind of pasta you have in the house, but do keep in mind you may have to adjust the stock levels to cook the pasta through. As a final note, you could omit the cream from the sauce, but I wouldn't. Its such a small amount...your hips will hardly notice, and your tastebuds will love you forever.
Toasted Mushroom Macaroni
Recipe from: Mamma Sue
- 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- approx 2 cups / 8oz fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced (I used button here - but chestnut would be great too - or fancy it up a bit with a few different kinds!)
- 1 large or 2 small cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 cup / 118ml dry white wine
- 8oz / 225g macaroni or other small pasta
- 2 cups / 475ml chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/4 cup / 60ml pouring (single) cream
- 1/4 cup / 45g 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. Sautee 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.