If you love mushrooms and truffles this is definitely a dish for you: Fettuccine with Crimini Mushrooms in a White Truffle Oil and Wine Sauce.
Sometimes situations that you thought might be a little difficult and uncomfortable, turn out to be surprisingly enjoyable and incredibly inspiring. Well Nicoletta told me about a dinner with one of the master chef series winners at Massimo’s once a great restaurant now a venue for food. My wife asked me if I wanted to go, at first thinking she would not be there with me had me thinking maybe I will pass on this one, but something inside me said I should go and overcome my fear of being alone. So the ticket was booked and time passed and off to the dinner, with thoughts of would I sit at a table with myself, or do I introduce myself to a table, and the anxiety rising with all these scenarios, I decide this is crazy and I shut it all off, and take on the live in the moment technique.
Well the evening turned out to be wonderful, a table full of great people, wonderful conversations, and yes food, amazing food, thanks to Chef Vittorio Colacitti. Tonight’s menu truffle inspired recipes, starting with a grilled ciabatta with truffle paste and Grana Padano, followed by grilled escarole with truffle cheese and roasted pears, the next plate and the inspiration to my dish today, home made tagliatelle and shaved black Italian winter truffles. The ending to this great evening, pan seared scallops, fingerling potatoes, shaved truffles and truffle honey, and apple. Amazing flavors and plating along a beautiful pairing of Prosecco and Orvieto wine made for an evening of inspiration and fun. Thank you to Teresa Spinelli, for bringing things like this to her establishments, Vittorio Colacitti for the inspirational food and skill, The Italian Center Shop for the wonderful ingredients, and Massimo’s for the atmosphere and ambiance to carry such a wonderful evening. Now to the recipe for today.
A shopping spree to the Italian Center Shop to get the ingredients for the inspiration brewing in my mind Fettuccine with Crimini Mushrooms in a White Truffle Oil and White Wine Sauce. Some great flavor packed Crimini mushrooms, white truffle oil, good quality fettuccine pasta, some Parmigiano Reggiano, Italian parsley, dried red chili peppers, a good D.O.P extra virgin cold pressed olive oil, and I am set. In a nice cast iron pan some olive oil, I sauté some finely chopped white onion, doing this ensures that the onion caramelizes quickly and dissipates into a nice paste to coat the mushrooms, and before that happens I throw in bits of red chili flakes and the slices of mushrooms, minced garlic, some of the chopped fresh Italian parsley. Then I open some white wine, in this case one of our own that I made thanks to my father’s teachings, a 2014 Chardonnay, a quick pour into a glass for sampling and then pouring from the bottle into the pan until your intuition kicks in and you stop. I usually only use wine that I like drinking to cook. Letting that simmer I bring water to boil in a large pot salted with sea salt as it has a very good natural taste. The smell of the wine evaporating and infusing into the mushrooms is intense, I add a bit of the truffle oil into the mix and that pungent earthy musky in a good way is released into the kitchen. Into the boiling water goes the fettuccine and cooked for the recommended time. This is very important in Italian cooking, the texture and flavor of the pasta should be al dente meaning slight crunch to it. With this dish I usually pull it out of the water a bit sooner as I am going to toss it the pan with the mushrooms on heat. Always keep some of the pasta water to ensure that if the pasta is looking a little dry you can add some. A few minutes of tossing making sure the sauce, the oils and the mushrooms are distributed well into the pasta. A nice drizzle of the white truffle oil, a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley and nicely fresh grated parmigiano and we are set for the best part, eating!
The pasta nice slight crunch, the flavor of the pasta a subtle nuttiness, the wine lingering with the caramelized onion and garlic, the Crimini mushrooms with its distinct strong earthy yet slightly acidic quality, a bit of bite from the chilis then the freshness of the parsley and the pungency of the Parmigiano Reggiano, and the best for last that white truffle oil, unbelievable, musky, and the fungus nature of it, a great pairing to the mushroom and white wine. I believe this dish to be balanced in flavors, not one flavor taking you away from others rather a journey that has no end and no beginning. Add in that beautiful Chardonnay, the making of a lovely dinner. The story behind our wine making, a story for another time, lol.
I know I am long winded, lol.
If you love mushrooms and truffles this is definitely a dish for you. I know they say mushrooms and truffles are an acquired taste, well then acquire, who knows, you won’t know if you do not try it. Either way enjoy whatever you make, it is the essence of a truly wonderful life.
Song of the day: “Life is life” by Opus.
P.S. Amore wish you were there.
- 1 small cipollina (mini yellow onion), chopped fine
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons white truffle oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- pinch of chili flakes
- 2 cups crimini mushrooms, sliced
- 1/8 cup white wine
- 350 grams good fettuccine pasta
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
- Fill a large pot 3/4 full of water and bring to boil.
- Add salt and taste water for flavor.
- In a large saute pan drizzle olive oil and bring to medium heat.
- Add onion and cook till soft then toss in garlic.
- Throw in chili flakes, and 1/2 the chopped parsley.
- Sprinkle in chopped mushrooms and saute till mushrooms are cooked, about 1o minutes.
- Pour in white wine and cook till evaporated.
- Add in truffle 1 tablespoon of the truffle oil, and cook for an additional couple of minutes.
- Take off heat and set aside.
- When water is boiling place in fettuccine and cook for just before recommended time on the package, taste pasta and see if it's the right texture, preferrably just a bit before al dente.
- Drain pasta and place pan with mushrooms on low heat.
- Toss fettuccine into pan and mix well as to coat the pasta with the oils in the pan and also distribute the mushrooms throughout.
- Drizzle remaining truffle oil and garnish with some fresh chopped parsley, and fresh cracked black pepper.
- Sprinkle with some parmigiano.
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