Mushroom and Walnut Pasta, with cream and garlic
Plus autopics (as in the banner that was used for Hallowe’en, 2013 directly below this paragraph). Couldn’t help myself but go with the flow and dress up for Hallowe’en. So I ended up plastered in as much make-up as Joan Collins. Okay, it’s not such a good likeness of me – but the nose! Uncanny. Anyway, has anyone else found themselves surrounded by pumpkins and squash recently! Just as well I happen to like their flavour as I’ll be eating a lot of risottos for the next week, and anything else I can chuck pumpkin/squash into. I wonder if I’ll find a recipe, or two, online?! In the meantime, I have Chef Mimi Blog to thank – for ever and anon – for the inspiration behind this incredibly delicious and simple mushroom and walnut pasta dish. That’s fast becoming my go-to. Fourth time to make it. And with large portions x two each time, I can’t quite get enough of it. And, what’s even more wonderful, this tastes better the following day. To the extent I’d be tempted to cook this the night before if serving this to friends the next day – no chance! This is too good to share! But it would make the most wonderful main course (or starter), with something chocolatey as dessert. Something like a baked cheesecake, if I could ever get the base for mine sorted. As this is simply elegant and rich without even trying. And the one thing I don’t try to do is to add anything else to this. Like fresh thyme, freshly grated nutmeg nor freshly grated Grana Padano, a block of the latter safely ensconced in the fridge – where it needs to be kept with a dish this good. Only in my opinion.
I also have to thank the wonderful Angie, of The Novice Gardener, for what turned out to be an incredibly extravagant gift, as I ended up the first to follow Angie on Pinterest recently. Which wasn’t the reason for doing so, as in following, as I’ve never entered into any of the giveaways within blogs. However, what fun to receive two very tasteful Trick or Treat t-towels in time for Hallowe’en. Hence the photo directly above (the original banner for this post), with the other t-towel featured within the existing banner/lead-in photo (it’s just about possible to read Trick or Treat).
Mushroom and Walnut Pasta, with cream and garlic
- 50g (1.764 oz) x walnut pieces, roasted and coarsely chopped
- oil, of choice
- up to 350g (12.35 oz) x closed cup (white) mushrooms OR 250g (8.818 oz) x chestnut (Swiss brown) mushrooms, whichever mushrooms used need to be wiped clean and chopped into small pieces/chunks, including the stems
- 2 x fat organic garlic cloves, peeled and crushed, less to personal taste
- ¼ x teaspoon red pepper flakes – optional
- about 150ml (5.072 fl oz) x single/light cream + more if needed
- several dessertspoonfuls x pasta cooking liquor (do this before the pasta is to be drained)
- cooked pasta, of choice
- seasoning, especially freshly ground black pepper
- extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling over the pasta
Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.
- If I’m going to bake bread then I add the walnut pieces to a suitable dish, place them in the cold oven prior to preheating it to about 180°C or 356°F. By the time the oven has preheated the walnuts are removed and set aside. If this isn’t enough time to roast them (their aroma should be fairly pronounced) then do add them to a heavy-based pan or saucepan and put them on low heat only. They usually take around 10 minutes or so (on the hob/stove), shaking the pan occasionally. When cool simply grab a potato masher and crush the walnuts as fine or as coarse as needed.
- In the meantime put a large heavy-based pan or saucepan on electric heat No 4 (out of 6). When pan is hot, and mushrooms have been prepped, add enough oil to cover the base of pan. Before the oil has a chance of smoking get the chopped mushrooms in there and stir through. It’ll take a while, especially on electric, to get the mushrooms beyond leaching their liquid. After this happens it’s best to stay with them and stir frequently to get them as evenly golden as possible. When nicely golden take them off heat and crush over the garlic, spreading the mushrooms to the sides of pan and adding a glug more oil if necessary. Give the garlic a few minutes to cook out its rawness. Stir through if there’s any sign of the garlic scorching. Sprinkle over the red pepper flakes.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta to the pack’s instructions.
- Pour the cream over the mushroom mixture and stir to combine. If the pasta is nearly ready then add the crushed walnuts to the mushrooms. Grab a dessertspoon and add a couple of spoonfuls of the pasta cooking liquor to the mushrooms as well. Add more cream if necessary. After draining the pasta add that to the mushroom mixture and stir through before serving. Instead of using cheese I prefer to drizzle over about a capful of extra virgin olive oil just before eating.
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