THE WASHINGTON POST – The promise of In Minutes, from cookbook author Clodagh McKenna, is that there’s a recipe for you within the pages – even if you have just 10 minutes to spend in the kitchen. The full title includes this sentence: 10, 20, 30 Minutes – How much time do you have to cook tonight?
That’s a question I ask myself almost every weeknight evening.
The 10-minute chapter leans heavily on salads, with topped flatbreads, quesadillas, eggs and pasta dishes like this Creamy Forest Pasta. The “forest” comes from the mix of “wild” or “woodland” mushrooms she recommends, while suggesting chestnut, oyster, portobello and shiitakes for non-foragers.
The dish calls for fresh pasta – dry may add a few minutes – sauteed mushrooms, garlic and fresh rosemary sauced up with a bit of white wine and creme fraiche. The whole thing is topped with chopped toasted hazelnuts. And it’s delicious.
CREAMY FOREST PASTA WITH MUSHROOMS
Four to five servings
In her cookbook In Minutes, Clodagh McKenna said she can make this dish in 10 minutes.
It took us a little longer, but not much. The creamy, earthy mushroom sauce that gives the dish its name comes together quickly.
For the best flavour, cook the mushrooms until they dry out a bit and start to turn golden.
If you’re a meat-eater, feel free to add your favourite cooked sausage or chicken. You also can use dry tagliatelle or even fettuccine for this recipe, but it will take longer to boil.
Storage Notes: Refrigerate for up to five days.
NOTES: This dish is best with creme fraiche, but you can substitute an equal amount of mascarpone or, in a pinch, Greek yoghurt. The sauce will be thinner if made with yogurt.
If possible, buy peeled, roasted hazelnuts. If they are not available, toast and cool the nuts. Then, place them on one side of a clean kitchen towel, fold the towel over the nuts and vigorously rub to remove any loose skins.
Some skins will remain.
One pound fresh tagliatelle, or fresh or dried linguine or fettuccine
One tablespoon olive oil
One tablespoon unsalted butter
Three-quarter pound mixed wild mushrooms, sliced
Two cloves garlic, thinly sliced
One tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary, plus more for serving
Eight ounces crème fraîche (see NOTES)
Freshly ground black pepper
One-quarter cup peeled, roasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped, for serving (see NOTES)
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil on the stove. Add the fresh tagliatelle and cook, stirring occasionally, according to package directions, three to five minutes (this will take longer if using dried pasta). Drain, reserving about a half cup of the pasta water, and return the cooked pasta to the pot.
Meanwhile, in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat, heat the oil and butter until the butter melts. Add the mushrooms and fry, stirring occasionally, until they dry out and turn a bit golden, about five minutes, adjusting the heat as needed.
Add the garlic and rosemary and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Reduce the heat to medium, and cook until slightly reduced, about one minute. Fold in the creme fraiche until it melts and makes a smooth sauce. Taste, and lightly season with salt and pepper.
Pour the mushroom sauce and a couple of tablespoons of the pasta water over the cooked tagliatelle and stir well to combine, adding more pasta water as needed.
Portion the pasta into bowls and top with the chopped hazelnuts and rosemary.
Nutrition information per serving (1 3/4 cups) based on five | Calories: 586; Total Fat: 24g; Saturated Fat: 13g; Cholesterol: 62mg; Sodium: 72mg; Carbohydrates: 74g; Dietary Fibre: 4g; Sugar: 8g; Protein: 13g.