Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pasta with Mushrooms, Mustard, and Chard

If I were a swanky recipe book, I would note that the combination of mushroom and shallot in this recipe provides a rich undertone to the interplay of sweet chard and spicy mustard.

If I were me, I'd just focus on typing up this recipe while repeating, under my breath, "you do not need to go make a new batch of this now. You do not need to go make a batch of this now."

At the moment, however, it has been at least 15 minutes since we ate the last bites on our plates. Possibly 16 minutes, even. Maybe we should go make a new batch of this now...

Home made fettuccine noodles for two
Olive oil
1/2 tbsp Pastured butter (optional)
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2 medium shallots, halved and sliced
1/2 lb shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1/2 lb crimini mushrooms, sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Splash sherry
Slosh veggie broth
3-5 leaves rainbow chard, sliced into ribbons, or several handfuls baby chard
3-5 leaves mustard greens, sliced into ribbons, or several handfuls red mustard frisee
Handful flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Shaved goat gouda or other hard goat cheese (optional)

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil for the pasta.

Heat olive oil and butter in a wide pan with deep sides over medium high heat. When hot, add the garlic and press into the pan. Cook until lightly golden on one side, then push to the side of the pan, flip, and add the shallot. Turn the heat down to medium and saute until the shallot is very soft, adding a pinch of salt if needed to keep it from browning.

Add the mushrooms and toss with the olive oil and shallot to coat. Saute, stirring, for several minutes, adding salt and pepper as the mushrooms cook. (If the mushrooms end up seeming very dry, sprinkle them with a little more olive oil.) When the mushrooms have started to release their juices, add a slosh of sherry and stir until it mostly evaporates.

Fold in any big greens (the sliced chard and/or mustard greens), add a splash of vegetable broth and a little bit more sherry if desired, and cover the pan to let steam. After a minute or two, uncover and stir, then cover again to let simmer until the greens are tender (2-3 more minutes).

At this point, add the fresh pasta to the boiling water and boil for 2 minutes or until al dente.

Meanwhile, add any baby greens (baby chard and/or red mustard frisee) to the mushrooms. Add a little more broth if necessary (you want there to be a little bit of liquid at the bottom, but not so much that it's soupy), cover, and steam for a minute. Turn off the heat.

Reserve 1-2 ladlefuls of pasta water, then drain the pasta into a colander and shake just a couple of times (so the pasta isn't too thoroughly drained). Add to the pasta to the pan with the mushrooms, ladle in a little of the reserved water, and toss with the sauce. Add more pasta water if necessary -- you want the mixture to be very moist but not soupy (the pasta will absorb some water between now and when you get it to the table, and you don't want it to dry out).

Sprinkle in the Parmesan cheese, toss, and serve onto plates. Top with a liberal scattering of parsley and a few shavings of goat gouda. Serve hot.

Serves 3, and pairs well with Syrah or another red with a bit of heft and complexity.

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