Saturday, August 9, 2014

Creamy Farfalle with Mushrooms & Asparagus - Earthy flavors

This simple vegetarian pasta combines the flavors of spring—mushrooms and asparagus—in a luscious creamy sauce

This simple vegetarian pasta combines the flavors of spring—mushrooms and asparagus—in a luscious creamy sauce. Tender spears of fresh asparagus are sauteed with sliced button mushrooms and then tossed with bow-tie pasta and Parmesan cheese white sauce, for a  delicious dinner dish.

This simple vegetarian pasta combines the flavors of spring—mushrooms and asparagus—in a luscious creamy sauce.

A few years back I traveled to a little Provence in Italy, called Lecce. It's located in southern Italy and it's near the Adriatic sea. Every dish I tasted here was exquisite and yet so simple. All the ingredients were natural and flavorful such as tomatoes, garlic, basil, capers, fish, olive oil, Pecorino cheese pared beautifully with a diverse variety of pasta.
As you might noticed till now, I love Italian cuisine. It's my favorite, mainly because it's characterized by its simplicity and it's based on the quality of the ingredients rather than on elaborate preparation. The Italian food can be enjoyed by everyone and it's vibrant, subtle, satisfying, delicious and diverse, and it is hard to try all of the many dishes in a single lifetime. Italy it's also know for it's wines and Italian espresso has no equal and is popular and enjoyed around the world. These are the reasons why I love Italian cuisine. 

This simple vegetarian pasta combines the flavors of spring—mushrooms and asparagus—in a luscious creamy sauce.

The today's recipe reminds me of my trip to Italy. It's an unsophisticated dish but full of earthy flavors provided by the use of mushrooms and asparagus. Easy to prepare and delicious.

Yield: 4-6 servings                                                 Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients: 
  • 453g (1 lb) farfalle
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 lb trimmed asparagus, cut into 1-inch long pieces
  • 6 ounces baby bella or brown button mushrooms, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices 
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/3 cup white wine, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried savory leaves, whole or crushed
 Directions:
  1. Prepare the farfalle pasta according to the package directions. Drizzle it with a tablespoon of olive oil and toss, then set aside.
  2. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute until the butter becomes flagrant.
  3. Add the asparagus and allow to cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the mushrooms and cook until they soften for about another 5 minutes. 
  4. Taste one of the asparagus pieces. If it is too hard and stringy inside, cook it a few minutes more. Remove the pan from heat and set it aside.
  5. In a small saucepan, over medium-low heat, warm the milk and cream until hot but no boiling. Whisk in the flour until the sauce thickens, making sure to whisk constantly until the sauce is smooth and the flour is completely incorporated. 
  6. Add the wine, grated cheeses, and seasonings and continue stirring until the cheese is melted and the seasonings are evenly distributed throughout the sauce.
  7. Add the pasta and sauce to the sauté pan with the asparagus and mushrooms and toss until the ingredients are evenly distributed and everything is lightly coated in the sauce.
  8. Serve immediately.
 Enjoy!

Tips and Tricks:
  • For a beautiful dinner pair this dish with a négociant Pinot from Carneros. Négociant winemakers purchase grapes, and sometimes juice, which allows them to look for great buys. 
Recipe adapted from: Adventures of Cooking

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