Sunday, 14 September 2008

Mushroom and Walnut Pasta

This dish evolved from hunger more than anything, adding things to the pan until it looked good,
I like to fry mushrooms in a very hot pan but with no oil as they just slurp it all up. Be patient. Mushrooms tend to leak all their juices readily, but given time soak them back up again, its important to season them as soon as they hit the pan so they can absorb that too, once they get going add a few sprigs of thyme and garlic too. Plump with seared edges in what you're going for, not soggy and limp. Finish with some lemon juice and your laughing.

I added a luxurious dollop of creme fraiche and some walnuts for texture, stirred into pasta, this is the way to eat mushrooms. I'm becoming a fan of using walnuts and almonds instead of the ubiquitous pine nuts with pasta, cheap and they add a much mellower flavour than the (admittedly delicious) pine nuts. I've also taken throwing chopped parsley onto everything, I love the freshness it adds, it would work particularly well here to cut through the richness of the sauce.


Ingredients

Serves 2

1 onion, finely chopped
200g short pasta (we used rigatoni)
200g mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
a few sprigs thyme
4tbsp creme fraiche (or double cream)
squeeze lemon juice
100g walnuts, chopped
parmesan and parsley to serve (optional)

Begin by cooking the pasta in plenty of boiling water. Once cooked, drain the pasta, but reserve a little of the water.
Meanwhile, cook the onion in a little oil on a low heat in a large frying pan until softened, then remove from the pan. Turn up the heat and add the mushrooms along with some seasoning and the thyme. Fry for about 5mins until the mushrooms are tinged brown.
Return the onions to the pan along with the garlic, give it a stir and add the creme fraiche, the creamy white turning a grey on contact with mushrooms. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and taste to see if it needs for seasoning.
Add the pasta to the sauce and stir well to coat in the sauce, add a little cooking water if the sauce seems too thick, sprinkle over the walnuts and tuck in immediately.

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4 comments:

ginger@dinnerdiary.org said...

Oooh lovely, I've been looking for a good mushroom dish. Every time I've tried in the past it's been tasteless, this sounds lovely.

ginger@dinnerdiary.org said...

We've just made this Rachel and it was really good, thanks for posting. Am really glad to have found a tasty mushroom pasta dish!

Emily said...

Just found this recipe through Ginger's blog and wanted to let you know we're having a chanterelle mushroom recipe contest. Since you're obviously great at creating 'shroom dished, we'd love to have you enter the contest! Check it out at marxfoods.com

library alien said...

I loved this dish. I particularly enjoyed it with the walnuts which added a depth of flavour I had never thought of before. Great because last year we planted a walnut tree and cropped 6 walnuts! Thank you for your inspiration.