Friday, April 22, 2016

Linguine with Morel Mushrooms and Parmesan


I enjoy pasta, but I don’t like the creamy stuff. Red sauce, I’ll eat up readily, but the white creamy stuff—not my thing. Instead, I throw together a more buttery and herby pasta at home that is quick and easy, perfect for days when I don’t have lots of time to spend in the kitchen. For the base, all you need is pasta, butter, lots of Parmesan cheese, garlic, olive oil and fresh parsley. As for the other ingredients, I throw in what I have on hand—leftover chicken, turkey, sautéed shrimp, sausage, or whatever. Maybe I’ll add in a little bit of fresh thyme or red pepper flakes.

This time of year, however, the morel mushroom is the star ingredient. This is one of my absolute favorite ways to prepare morels. The combination of fresh parsley, meaty mushrooms, salty Parmesan cheese and good Irish butter just sings spring to me. If you’d like your pasta a tad bit creamy, then mix in a little heavy whipping cream.

Don’t worry too much about measurements, though, because this recipe can be adjusted to your taste. In fact, the measurements here are just guesses. Cook to your liking and enjoy. 

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 -1 pound of uncooked linguine pasta
Ingredients:
- Morel mushrooms, rinsed and halved or quartered lengthwise
- 6 cloves of garlic, minced (or more-- you can't have too much!)
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons of fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil + 1 tablespoon of butter
- 8 tablespoons of Kerrygold slated Irish butter (or regular)
- Grated Parmesan cheese, to taste
-  Grated zest of one lemon
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil for tossing

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add a generous pinch of salt to the water. Follow package directions to cook pasta to al dente. Drain pasta but reserve cooking liquid for later use.

2. In a large pan, heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add shallot and cook until translucent, but do not brown.
3. Turn up heat to medium-high and add morel mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Sauté until mushroom soften and given up most of their moisture. Cook in batches for better browning. 

Once mushrooms are cooked, add garlic and cook for 30 seconds until garlic becomes aromatic but do not brown, stirring frequently.
4. Turn down heat to medium-low. Add in 8 tablespoons of butter to the mushrooms and wait until it melts. Toss in cooked pasta, Parmesan cheese, freshly chopped parsley and lemon zest. 
5. Loosen up pasta by ladling in a bit of the reserved pasta water and extra virgin olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Heat pasta thoroughly and serve with more Parmesan sprinkled on top.    

Serve hot!





















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