Earth Fare: Fettuccine in Creamy Mushroom and Tomato Sauce

With its combination of mushrooms, cream and wine, this savory fettuccine dish has an Eastern European flavor.

| March/April 2006

Fettuccine in Creamy Mushroom and Tomato Sauce
Serves 6

Connecticut’s Franklin Farms, one of the country’s largest mushroom farms, provides a delicious, year-round selection of mushrooms to Claire’s Corner Copia. “Sometimes the mushroom forager brings us beautiful spring morels, which add a magical touch to this already delicious dish,” Criscuolo says. If you do get morels (even just five or six will do), wash them thoroughly as they tend to harbor tiny bugs, then chop and sauté them with the other mushrooms. Again, buying all organic ingredients is best.

4 tablespoons butter
2 large shallots, finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 pound assorted mushrooms (cremini, button, shiitake, oyster), cut into thick slices
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1 pound fettuccine (spinach, whole wheat or egg)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, about 20 large, cut into halves
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
3 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or other cheese

1. Melt butter in a large heavy pot over medium-low heat. Add shallots and garlic. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally for two minutes, or until shallots are soft. Add mushrooms, sea salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until mushrooms have released some of their moisture.

2. Meanwhile, bring a covered stockpot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat and cook fettuccine according to package directions. Before draining the pasta, reserve one cup of the cooking water. (It’s easier to remember if you place a measuring cup into a colander set in your sink.)

3. Add cherry tomato halves, wine and pepper flakes to the mushrooms. Stir well to mix. Raise the heat and bring to a medium boil. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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