Zing went the strings of my heart today, when I saw that the price of asparagus had dropped dramatically at my grocery store. Can it be that asparagus season is finally here? I certainly hope so. I scooped some up, along with a package of beautiful wild mushrooms. In truth, the mushrooms are a wild variety grown in a snug greenhouse in the Bay Area. No matter. They look so adorable, as if they jumped from the pages of Alice In Wonderland. I used them and the asparagus in an adaption of a recipe I found in this month's Food & Wine magazine. The recipe also called for pistachios, which was very cool. The whole dish was satisfying, and looked smashing.
This is my submission to Presto Pasta Night, which was started by the wonderful Ruth at Once Upon A Feast. Each Friday Ruth has a recap of wonderful pasta recipes from bloggers from all over the world. So, do stop by and check it out.
Also, if my writing seems rather cursory, it's due to my bum knee, which has turned me into quite a crank. Does anyone remember Gunsmoke, with Dennis Weaver hobbling around on his gimpy leg, yelling, "Mr. Dillon, Mr. Dillon"? Well, that me lately. It hurts ferociously when I walk, sit, or lie down. Now, that's hardly fair, is it?
Lovely wild mushrooms, gathered at the grocery store.
Pappardelle With Wild Mushrooms, Asparagus, And Pistachios
(Adapted from Food & Wine)
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
1 pound fresh wild mushrooms, sliced or left whole if small (or use whatever type you like)
1 pound fresh asparagus, tough ends removed and sliced into rounds
1/2 cup thinly sliced yellow sweet bell pepper
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup unsalted roasted pistachios
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 pound pappardelle, preferably fresh
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving
In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the shallot, garlic, and cook over low heat heat, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer this to a bowl; leave as much of the oil in the pan as possible.
Add the mushrooms and peppers to the skillet, season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is evaporated and the mushrooms are golden, about 8 minutes. Return the shallots and garlic to the skillet. Add the butter along with the pistachios, lemon juice and and stir until the butter is melted. Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, heat water for the pasta, as you are preparing the shallots and mushrooms mixture. When it comes to a boil add the asparagus and cook for 3 minutes. Scoop it out of the water with a slotted spoon and add to the mushroom mixture. Add pappardelle to the boiling salted water and cook until until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
Add the pappardelle to the skillet along with the some of the reserved cooking water if necessary. Cook over moderately high heat, tossing, until the pasta is coated with a thick sauce, about 2 minutes. Transfer the pasta to bowls and serve, passing the cheese at the table.