March 8, 2013
My blog has been devoid of any pasta recipes so far because I didn't think I had an original recipe that would bring anything new to the table. I always had hunger for most classical pasta dishes so I always prepared those instead of experimenting new flavours.
But say I had to choose one out of all classics, this would be the one I'd like to be able to master to perfection. I had been far from achieving that given all my attempts for creating a quality creamy mushroom pasta yielded average results, lacking in sufficient flavour and depth.
In an effort to document some pasta recipes for a friend recently, I dedicated some time to figure out ways to make a pasta dish near to perfect. In due course, I discovered all the mistakes I had been doing and the tips I had been neglecting. For instance, that step which calls for reserving a ladle of boiling water before straining the pasta, to thin out the sauce? Although sounding trivial, does matter. Using the boiling water in your teapot doesn't do the trick. You need the starch in the boiling water your pasta is cooked in to bind flavours as well as to coat the pasta thoroughly with the sauce.
Until now, I used to regard white wine as an extravagant addition. Its absence must have been the reason why my mushroom cream pasta lacked depth, I see now. Cutting on cream was an old habit too, in a vain effort to limit calories: but it turns out, cutting on cream is cutting on flavor. I stopped doing that too: if I'm going to have this pasta I'm going to have it all the way.
Other than that I always use butter, cook al dente, and never rinse the pasta (oh yes, some people still do that). With the above mentioned corrections, this pasta came as close as a homemade pasta can get to perfection. I hope you will think so too.
Tagliatelle With Mushroom Cream Sauce
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 4 spring onions, chopped
- 300 gr mushrooms (button, porcini or cremini)
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup double cream
- 300 gr egg tagliatelle
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmeggiano Regiano
1) Boil salted water in a deep casserole.
2) Wash mushrooms and dry them with a towel.* Discard stems and chop.
3) In a sauté pan, melt butter over medium heat. When foam starts to form add garlic then spring onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, increase heat to medium-high and sauté for 5 minutes until slightly soft.
4) Add white wine and reduce the sauce by thirds. Reduce heat to minimum, add cream, stir and remove from heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5) Boil taglietelle al dente. Reserve a ladle of boiling water and strain. Transfer the pasta to the pot, add sauce and the reserved boiling water. Toss and transfer to plates with generous amount of parmesan.
*I know mushrooms aren't supposed to be washed but I wash them anyway unless I've handpicked them personally (which never happened so far).