Saturday, March 27, 2010

Tagliolini with Mushrooms, Asparagus and Pine Nuts

I do love a good, creamy pasta dish. This one isn't too heavy, and comes with some of my favourite vegetables (not to mention the cheese and just a hint of heat). For the pasta, I used PC brand, but you can use any long pasta like pappardelle or linguine. They key with any pasta dish is to match the size and shape of the pasta to the type of sauce and weight of other ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package fresh tagliolini pasta (you can use dry pasta, too)
  • 7-8 asparagus spears, woody ends snapped off and cut thinly on the bias (diagonally)
  • 15 or so cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 medium red onion, small dice
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (adjust as you like)
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream (I used 18%, but 35% is fine, too)
  • 3 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp butter (unsalted is best)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Put a large pot on the stove, filled with hot water. Heat on high and bring to a boil. While the water is heating up ...
  2. Put olive oil in large skillet and heat on medium-high. Once hot, add the onion and red pepper flakes. Stir so you don't scortch the onion. Once the onion has softened, add the mushroom. Turn up to high and cook until mushrooms have released their liquid and have just started to brown.
  3. Add in chicken broth and asparagus. Boil until the broth is slightly reduced. Add in cream and turn down to medium so you don't burn it. Bring to a slow boil and let thicken slightly. Season with salt & pepper.
  4. Cook the pasta - if it's fresh, it'll only need a minute or so. Otherwise, cook according to instructions or 'till it's done to your liking (I prefer it a tad al dente).
  5. Add pine nuts, basil and parmesan to sauce. Toss with pasta and serve immediately with more parmesan and red pepper flakes to taste. Delish!

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