Angel hair pasta with chanterelle mushrooms

February 11, 2009 4:40:32 PM PST
Treat your sweetheart to a scrumptious homemade meal.

Heavenly Angel Hair Pasta with Chanterelle Mushrooms
Serves 2

7 ounces/200g fresh angel hair pasta (like Buitoni sold in refrigerator section of supermarket)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil plus more to garnish
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ shallot, finely minced (1 tablespoon minced)
¼ pound/115g fresh chanterelle mushrooms
¼ cup white wine
½ cup heavy cream
Freshly grated nutmeg
¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano
Finely chopped flat leaf Italian parsley to garnish
Kosher salt and freshly ground black or white pepper to taste

Place 2 quarts of water in a medium pot, cover and bring to a boil over high heat. While the water is coming to a boil, prepare the sauce.

Clean the mushrooms by dusting off superficial dirt with a fine brush or paper towel. Roughly chop mushrooms into large pieces.

Heat the olive oil and butter together with the minced shallots in a skillet or sauté pan large enough to eventually hold all the cooked pasta over medium heat. Cook the shallots for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent. Add the mushrooms and stir to coat with the cooking oils. Sauté mushrooms for 1 to 2 minutes until they begin to soften and release their natural juices. Season lightly with salt and pepper and add the white wine. Simmer for a couple of minutes until almost all the wine has evaporated.

Add the cream a little at a time, stirring continuously to incorporate smoothly. Add the grated nutmeg and when the cream begins to bubble, reduce the heat to low. Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning if needed. Allow the cream to simmer gently and thicken slightly while the pasta cooks.

When the water for the pasta boils, add a handful of kosher salt. Once the water returns to a vigorous boil add the pasta and stir with a wooden fork or tongs to separate the strands and avoid sticking. Cook the pasta for 1 to 2 minutes until 'al dente, or tender yet firm to the bite. Avoid over cooking pasta, as it will continue to cook in the sauce for another minute.

Using tongs, lift the pasta out of the pot, allowing any excess water to drain back into pot, and place directly into the simmering cream sauce in the skillet. Raise the heat to medium-high and gently toss the pasta in the sauce for about 1 minute, lifting and separating the noodles to evenly coat and adding a little pasta cooking water if too dry. Remove from heat and add the grated cheese. Toss again until cheese is completely melted.

Serve on individual plates in a 'love nest' by lifting the pasta noodles with tongs and turning each amount onto the center of each plate. Garnish with a sprinkling of finely chopped parsley and serve immediately.

Buon appetito!

Copyright, 2008, Deborah Dal Fovo, All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

Cooking class information:
La Cucina Bolognese: The Cooking of Bologna
March 19, 2009
6:30 - 9:30 p.m.
Price: $85
Sonoma, CA

About Deborah Dal Fovo:
An accomplished Chef and authority on the fine art of Italian living, Deborah Dal Fovo mastered her culinary education in Italian food and wine hands-on from some of Italy's finest and most renowned chefs, winemakers and food producers. Her formal culinary studies include classic training at French Master Chef Roger Vergé's legendary cooking school in Mougins, France.

Deborah's love of food and cooking was instilled in her at a young age in an Italian-American home inspiring her to return to her family origins in Italy where she lived in both Milan and Tuscany for 20 years. A dual citizen of Italy and the United States, Deborah now lives primarily in Northern California and shares her extensive Italian experience with the U.S. as a Private Chef, Cooking Instructor, Italian Lifestyle expert and an enthusiastic ambassador of good taste.

Deborah Dal Fovo currently teaches authentic Italian Cooking classes at Draegers, Ramekins, Relish, Sur la Table, and VIVA cooking schools and at her own private school in San Francisco and Marin County.