It’s no secret that I absolutely love carbs. And there is no time that I love carbs more than in the middle of winter.
My idea of the perfect winter Saturday at home involves making a pot of this pasta, and curling up in bed with a massive bowl of it. And then, as a metaphorical middle finger to the world’s Banting worshippers, I get up and head back to the kitchen for seconds. Because you just can’t not.
This dish, while certainly not for the calorie conscious, is the epitome of simple comfort food. So simple, in fact, that I try and jazz it up a bit with a 50/50 mix of boring and fancy mushrooms (shitake and oyster mushrooms both worked very well) but it’s really up to you.
*Makes one helluva big pot of pasta.
*Takes about 45 minutes, depending on how lazy or good at multitasking you are.
Let’s get to it then. You’ll need:
- 500g fettucine or pasta of your choice
- 1 large onion, chopped
- Oil for frying
- Olive oil for pasta
- 2 large punnets of mushrooms (fancy ones, boring button ones, whatever), roughly chopped
- Italian Herbs
- 1 heaped tablespoon of crushed garlic
- 250ml white wine
- 400ml cream
- 2 handfuls of grated parmigiano reggiano or grana padano
And here’s what you do.
For the Pasta:
- Fill up a big pot of water and bring it to the boil. Season with salt as desired.
- When it’s boiling, throw in the pasta and cook for 11 minutes or until al dente.
- Drain the pasta, but make sure to save a cup of the cooking water. This water, a tip I’ve only recently learned, acts as a thickener and also gives your sauce a gorgeously silky texture.
- Put the pasta back into its pot.
- Season with salt and pepper, add a nice glug of olive oil and set aside.
For the Sauce:
- While this is happening (or after), heat up some oil in the largest frying pan you own.
- Add the onion and fry until translucent.
- When that’s done – add your mushrooms, Italian herbs and garlic.
- Cook for a further five minutes or so until the mushrooms are tender and browned.
- Add the wine and pasta cooking water.
- Turn down the heat and simmer for at 30 minutes, until the sauce has reduced and lost its watery consistency.
- Taste every now and again, and season if necessary.
- Add the cream and a handful of parmesan, and pour sauce into the pasta.
- Mix well, and serve hot with even more parmesan cheese.
Now, grab a bowl and treat yo self to at least two servings. Your summer body can wait till Monday.