Thursday, January 13, 2005


This is not a surprising recipe, but it combines a lot of things that go well together into a rich, flavorful whole. I’ve had it for quite a while (where’s it from? Don’t know), but don’t make it too often. Mostly when I do, it’s when I crave tomatoes but fresh ones aren’t available. I used to really hate canned tomatoes, but now I’ve made my peace with them. Especially since I can get such good ones at Trader Joe’s. Maybe the tomatoes are what made it so good this time around, or maybe it was the real wine, not cooking wine, or maybe the brown (cremini, I think?) mushrooms instead of the plain white ones, but whatever it was, this was probably my best execution of this recipe and we thoroughly enjoyed it. A nice, luxurious, comforting winter pasta that's surprisingly simple to put together.

1 pound fettuccine
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
12 ounces (4 and 1⁄2 cups) sliced mushrooms
4 garlic cloves, minced
1⁄4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes, well drained and chopped
1⁄4 cup white wine
1⁄2 cup heavy cream
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Put a large pot of salted water on the stove to boil for the pasta.

2. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When this is hot, add the mushrooms and sauté until they brown and the juices begin to evaporate (the recipe says about 7 minutes).

3. When the water boils, add the pasta and cook until al dente.

4. When the mushrooms are cooked, add the garlic and red pepper to the skillet and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the tomatoes and wine and boil for 2 minutes, stirring often. (I like my tomatoes pretty broken-down, so I try to cook them a lot longer, more like 10 minutes--or however long I can get away with before the pasta's done.) Then add the cream and salt and boil for 1 minute.

5. When the fettuccine is done, drain it and add it to the sauce, sprinkle on the Parmesan cheese, toss quickly, and serve.

Serves: 6
Time: 40 minutes

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