Despite growing up on pasta, I didn’t experience fresh pasta (besides ravioli) until recently, and I fell in love with it. As much as I wish I had my own pasta maker so that I could enjoy it all the time, I don’t have the space, money, or time to whip out fresh pasta for dinner. However, I found a place near me that sells fresh pasta in different widths (spaghetti to lasagna sheets) and flavors (egg, spinach, pumpkin, etc). So I was beyond excited when this month’s Cooking Light came with a recipe for fresh Fettuccine with Mushrooms and Hazelnuts. I made some very slight alterations (ie bigger mushroom to pasta ratio) but the overall recipe is mostly intact.
1/2 pound fresh fettuccine
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup chopped blanched hazelnuts (You can find blanched hazelnuts in stores. I already had hazelnuts, so I blanched them myself. I’ve included a how-to below)
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 package each of portobello, cremini, and shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved or grated
2 tablespoons chopped chives
To blanch hazelnuts:
As you can see in the bottom right corner in the above photo, I had shelled hazelnuts on hand. Instead of buying blanched hazelnuts, I decided to try on my own. It honestly was pretty darn simple!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place hazelnuts on a baking sheet (just for convenience, use one with a lip so that they don’t roll off. Cook the hazelnuts for about ten minutes. Using a paper towel or a cloth towel, take a few hazelnuts at a time and rub them back and forth within the towel to remove the dark brown layer. Some of mine were being stubborn, but I think it was overall a success.
|Blanched hazelnuts, w/ some brown left on (oh well)|
Cook the fettuccine in boiling water with no salt or fat added (if there are directions, follow them. mine, I guessed 5 minutes and it tasted A-ok to me). When draining the pasta, put a bowl or measuring cup under the colander to reserve 3/4 cup water.
To prepare the mushroom/hazelnut mixture, melt the butter in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the blanched hazelnuts and cook for 3 minutes. Make sure to keep an eye on them, you want a somewhat even toast on them. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add oil to the pan. When heated, add the garlic and mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes.
Stir in chopped sage, pasta, reserved cooking liquid, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and toss. I gave it a minute to sort of meld together over the heat (I have an electric stove, so I turned off the burner, but left the pan over the still warm burner). Remove from heat, and add cheese, hazelnuts, and top with chives.
This turned out great! The flavors were fantastic. I was pretty wary about a sauce-less pasta dish; my previous posts show how much I love sauce, but there was enough going on that a sauce wasn’t needed at all. A definite plus, this took about 20 minutes from start to finish! How I love feasible week day meals.