Saturday, October 5, 2013

Farfelle With Asparagus, Mushrooms And Goat Cheese

Farfelle With Asparagus, Morel and Chanterelle Mushrooms And Goat Cheese
In my humble opinion, there is nothing greater when you don't feel like cooking than heading out to your favorite restaurant. But sometimes during a hectic work week one simply can't rally the troops to get up and go and then one must take one for the team and slog it to the market.

In my humble opinion, there is also nothing greater than hastily putting together a meal under the guise of let's just get this over with only to be surprisingly rewarded with a truly good meal in the end. As in a meal that is better than what you would have received had you had your druthers and dined out.

And that is where this recipe comes into play. Granted, an amazing blend of piping hot farfalle pasta, chanterelle mushrooms, morel mushrooms, asparagus and creamy goat cheese graced the Savory, Sweet & Spicy kitchen over a week ago and since then I have enjoyed a tiny, unplanned break from this blog. And since then I have yet to stop thinking about this recipe. 

The original recipe calls for 1 oz dried morel mushrooms and if spending $30.00 on mushrooms for a single recipe is your idea of a good time, I really admire you! As for me, I labored {and labored and labored and labored} at the market as to whether to go for it or to pull a substitute. And the little voice inside me, the one who has lived through the great recession, said don't be a fool. So I grabbed 1/2 oz morel mushrooms and 1/2 oz chanterelle mushrooms and left the market smugly reveling in my new-found sense of fiscal responsibility. And I can't say that I would do anything differently next time. I think using two different mushrooms ended up being a nice touch. In my humble opinion, that is.

Farfelle With Asparagus, Mushrooms And Goat Cheese

1 oz dried morel mushrooms {or 1/2 oz dried morel mushrooms and 1/2 oz dried chanterelle mushrooms}
kosher salt
8 oz farfalle
1 lb thin asparagus spears
3 T olive oil
1 T fresh minced garlic
1 heaping T fresh minced shallots
6 oz fresh goat cheese
freshly ground black pepper

Place the mushrooms in a bowl and add enough hot water to cover them. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 10 minutes. Drain the mushrooms, reserving 1 c of the water the mushrooms were soaked in.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Stir in the farfalle and cook according to packaging instructions.

While the pasta is cooking, snap each asparagus spear at the natural break, reserving the tips and discarding the tough ends. Cut the spears {reserved tips} at a diagonal, 1" wide.

Heat the olive oil, garlic, shallots and a pinch of salt  in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir constantly until the garlic is soft and fragrant but not brown, approximately 1 1/2 minutes. Turn the heat to high and stir in asparagus and another pinch of salt. Stirring constantly, cook for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and reserved water and simmer until the liquid is reduced by one third. 

Using tongs, lift the pasta out of the water and quickly transfer to the skillet. You'll want some of the water dripping from the pasta to carry over to the skillet. Place the skillet over high heat and stir gently to coat the pasta. Crumble the goat cheese on top of the pasta and fold in until warm and creamy, about 1 minute. Taste and adjust salt if necessary.

To serve, divide pasta among 4 plates or bowls. Serve with freshly ground black pepper.

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Source: Adapted from A Twist Of The Wrist, Nancy Silverton

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