Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Mushroom Workshop

Margy loves mushrooms. But I have to say, the mushrooms at ShopRite aren't nearly as good looking as the ones in Paris.

Still, my local supermarket has recently expanded its produce department in order to compete with the ritzier, more well-stocked stores in the area. This is great news, as I was able to find some nice dried porcini to give a boost to a big handful of less-distinctive white button mushrooms.

I decided to make a creamy pasta dish, so I called my mom for advice. She gave me great tips, like adding fresh herbs when sautéing the mushrooms, for both flavor and color.

I had a lot of fun making this dish, and I knew Margy would be glad to see some shrooms (I don't cook with them as much as I should), but I blew it right at the end by not using enough liquid. Though I believe pasta should never be drowned, it shouldn't be parched either. I had thickened the mushroom-garlic-herb-pancetta base (ah, always pancetta) with heavy cream and used some of the fettuccine's cooking water to expand the sauce, but I didn't use enough. And then, to make matters worse, I cooked too much pasta and just dumped all of it into the sauce to finish cooking. Tons of grated Parmesan at the end didn't hurt but didn't really help with this particular issue.

I am going to make this dish again very soon and try to address these shortcomings. I have a feeling Margy won't mind.

No comments: