I'm not sure if it was the Chianti, the Il Postino soundtrack, the pasta or the warm fuzzy feeling of reuniting with a childhood friend who just happens to be a foodie. An Italian foodie! Let's just say it was a combination of all of the above. This was one of those meals where you take your time, enjoying the flavors, the music, the wine and the company. The flavors were right-on- I waited all week to have the time to attempt my first real Italian meal, and this was worth the wait. Here is the recipe, in Amelia's words:
Fettuccine ai Funghi Porcini
500 gr. of porcini mushrooms - if you have no access to porcini you can use portobello mushrooms. (note: I used baby portobello)
500 gr. of good pasta - fettuccine, or large macaroni will do
four cloves of garlic (note: A standard package is 454 gr. and is what I used)
50 gr. fresh chopped parsley (note: I used flat-leaf Italian parsley)
1 crumbled red hot chili pepper (note: I used 4 good pinches of crushed and it was hot!)
1 dab of vinegar
50/80 gr. grated Parmesan cheese
Clean the mushrooms - use no water, just rub the dirt off with a knife. Cut them in thin slices. Pour a slight veil of olive oil into a large pan. Take the skin off the garlic and press the cloves with palm of hand using the wide part of the knife. Put the garlic in the oil and add the chili pepper. Add the mushrooms and turn the fire down. Add half a glass of water, bring to a simmer and cover. Simmer and turn repeatedly for half an hour/40 minutes. At mid cooking time add a small dab of vinegar, let it evaporate. At the end of the cooking time add the chopped parsley. Meanwhile, put a pot of water on the stove for the pasta. Bring it to a boil, add a small fist full of salt, and put the pasta in to cook. Read instructions on the pasta box for cooking time. when it is cooked, drain the pasta and put it back into the pot. Add the mushrooms, the grated Parmesan cheese and mix thoroughly. Serves 4 people. Enjoy, and tell me how it went!
The garlic and hot pepper.
I added toasted pine nuts because I love them.
Fettuccine- oh yeah!
Well, Amelia, it went quite well :). I would have liked to use porcinis, but couldn't find them fresh. Could I have used dried? The baby portobellos were delicious- the juice they cooked in with the garlic, hot peppers and olive oil coated the pasta, and the taste was amazing. When I added the cheese at the end, it got a tiny bit clumpy, but didn't hurt the overall dish. It was a lovely dinner, and is now one of our favorites. I would be happy to hear your comments- was it sac religious to add pine nuts? I hope not :) We look forward to the day that we share a meal with you and Giulio. In the meantime, I am ready for my next assignment...and the eggs.