May 30, 2009

Leek, Mushroom & Mascarpone Pasta

I absolutely love pasta for everything it is. The many variations, the many flavors and how easy it is to make with whatever leftovers you have in the fridge. Just need the basics of pasta, veggies, cream, herbs and it's hard to mess up a pasta dish. While living in London on a tight budget, there were many a nights where I made rice or pasta with chicken and broccoli. Why? Cheap and always good! A favorite? A simple pasta dish I learned in Spain from one of Hilda's friends - spaghetti, good salt, pepper, good olive oil and italian herb seasoning. Wow. Who knew no sauce for a pasta dish could be so good? Okay, I digress. Don't fear, this dish is so good because of the sauce.

I made this dish for the first time for Ross. He loves this dish, but I guess I should take that with a grain of salt since he loves food and will eat almost anything! This dish originated from Giadda (her original recipe here) and through the past few versions, I've changed it up a little bit with some ingredients I've become very fond of in the past few months...and cream, which if I could put in everything I make without worrying about my health, I probably would!

This was also the first time that I used mascarpone cheese - a big, big fan now thanks to Giadda. I love how using the mascarpone cheese makes the sauce delicious and extra creamy. I also added some cream :) with the mascarpone and it's absolutely wonderful together. Also, since my chicken and dumpling dish, I've become a huge fan of leeks. The combination of shallots and leeks together is surprisingly yummy. After cooking these two down, it adds a sweet, flavorful kit to the pasta and sauce. As for the other cheese, I was not a fan of pecorino cheese the first time I used/had it when I made mushroom appetizers. However, I had some left over in the fridge and adding it to this dish was very good. It has a strong, distinct and very sharp flavor so if you know you don't like it, I would just add more parmesan.

Leek, Mushroom & Mascarpone Pasta
Recipe originally from Giadda with some adaption from yours truly
Serves 4-6
1 box penne or rigatoni pasta (approx. 1 lb)
2 tbsn olive oil
4 shallots, minched
1 leek, sliced (only the white and light green part only, halved length-wise and then slice)
Snow peas (or whatever veggies you have in the fridge)
2 clove garlic, minched
1 lb button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth/stock
8 oz mascarpone cheese (bascially, one entire small container. VERY important its a room temperature)
1/4 cup cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup grated Peccorino
Fresh basil, chopped to add on top
1. Cook pasta according to directions on the box. Before cooking pasta, I like to cut all the veggies and prep. 2. While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a pan and add shallots, garlic and leeks to the pan. Season with S&P and let it cook until its get glassy and soft. 3. Add mushrooms and snowpeas. Take a quick taste after a few minutes and add more S&P if needed (usually does). This should cook for about 5-10 minutes until mushrooms and snowpeas are cooked. Make sure to stir occassionally so it does not burn.
4. Add wine and cook until almost all the liquest evaporates. You need to watch this! You'd be surprise how fast the veggies absorb the wine and the wine cooks down. I estimate about 3 minutes.
5. Add chicken broth and cook until stock is slightly reduced. Turn down the heat to medium-low.
6. Once stock cooks down slightly, turn heat to low and add the cream. Cook for 1 more minute.
7. Take off heat and add mascarpone cheese and stir until it is creamy delicious.
8. Add the cook pasta to the pan and mix thoroughly. Add some pasta water if you need. Add both cheese (Peccorino has a very strong, sharp flavor - you can decide to omit this if you don't like this cheese much. Just add more parmesan.)
9. Add the chopped basil on top for garnish! Enjoy! Enjoy with the rest of the white wine you didn't use - so make sure you buy one that you like to drink too!

1 comment:

  1. oooooh, sounds yummy!!! can i expect a dinner like this in july? did i ever tell you that you're my favorite sister? =)