MUSHROOM BUSINESS…ever seen these?

I began by trying to name all of these with their proper name.  Let’s just say I gave up.  They are Fungi or Mushrooms!

Recently my kids went to Italy.  Almost every day they sent me a picture of something delectable that they were eating.  One of the most intriguing sounding dishes was one that Laurie described.  Something like this: “I just had the best mushroom pasta!  It was SO simple.  I think it was only mushrooms, olive oil, garlic and a little pasta water”.  I became immediately  curious, so I looked up a few recipes.  I got some ideas, but of course ended up with my own, which turned out to be pretty good.

Above you see some of the varieties I tried.  We have an Asian Market in our town (Me Kong Plaza),  with such beautiful fresh produce, and at least 10 different varieties of mushrooms, most of which I have never seen.  But I’m not afraid to try anything.  So here is what I came up with.

Pictures of Fettucini and creamy mushrooms aren’t that pretty, so I didn’t post a pic of the finished product.  But it was delish!

First, cook 1 lb. Fettucini or your favorite pasta.  Save about 1 cup of the water.

About 1 cup each sliced mushrooms.  I used those shown above.  If you can’t get all these just slice a whole bunch of varieties, such as baby Bella, Portobello, Button–Just be sure they are fresh. And that you have at least 4 cups.

Begin by heating about 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/2 stick butter.  Sauce 2 or 3 paper thin slices of garlic just till soft over medium heat.  Add the mushrooms, stir and toss to coat them all,  then leave them alone for at least 5 minutes.  You want just a slight browning for a crispy element.  Sprinkle some salt and pepper, then add 1 cup heavy cream. Toss in some pasta water, a little at a time, to smooth out the sauce. This is where that wonderful cream from trader Joes comes in handy.  See below:

You can whip one egg into the carton of cream if you want to slightly                thicken the sauce.

Taste the sauce for seasoning.  It should be a very subtle creamy taste.  Some things you might add would be 1/2 cup white wine or sherry (at the beginning) and reduce slightly. I can never resist adding just a tsp. or so of Chicken soup base or bouillon to add flavor.  Toss the pasta in the sauce and add a whole bunch of fresh grated parmesan or Asiago or a mix of cheeses.  You can garnish with some fresh basil or parsley.  But have fun with this one!  It’s very much like Alfredo, but with the mushrooms!


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