Last evening was our annual holiday dinner with Meskers and Grunthaners. This year it was my turn to host. To get ready for this I try out recipes a good week or two before to make sure they are consumable. I watched one of my favorite foodie shows where Ina Garten (A Barefoot Holiday episode) made Fettuccini with White truffle Butter and Mushrooms. I tried it out two weeks ago but cut out the cream and used skim milk. OUTSTANDING!!!!!
After the holidays you really just want to detox and not eat SUCH rich foods. Keeping that in mind, I racked my brain over main dishes that would go with a pasta as a side. Beef Roulande – nope that was too fancy, filets – way too expensive, Salmon – nope not everyone likes fish. Finally I decided on roasted chicken breast, roasted root vegetables (red potatoes, sweet potatoes, & parsnips), green beans, and Lynne’s delicious salad – tarragon dressing – no kale. Pat made one of my husband’s favorite desserts, carrot cake, which was just out of this world. I need both of those recipes.
I’m a planner so on Senior Tuesday at Caputos (calm down-it means 10% off) I picked up the mushrooms and chicken. When I went to prep the mushrooms yesterday, AAUUGHHHHHHHHHHHH, they were bad. I had two hours before everyone arrived. I ran to Aldi, because they have fresh Bella mushrooms at $1.59 for an 8oz package. (FYI that’s half the price of anywhere else.) I needed 12 oz and picked up two. I lost about half an hour of personal time for me to get ready. I hate when that happens.
The recipe calls for olive oil. One sad thing that I have discovered lately, the Bertolli’s Extra Light Olive oil has changed flavors and now tastes like olive oil. Previously there was no taste. I’ve switched, not to olive oil, but Smart Balance vegetable oil. No difference in taste.
The recipe also calls for chives as a garnish. Well, try to find them this time of year. I went to every grocery store and none were to be found. Finally on a trip to Trader Joes the day before the dinner party, there they were. “MINE!,” with a wide swipe I said. It’s the little stuff that makes you perspire.
Aldi carries an organic Linguini that’s perfect with this dish.
Timing, oh-my-gosh this is so simple and easy to make. The longest amount of time is slicing 12 oz of mushrooms.
This could be used as the main dish or as a side. The first time I served it I put Costco roasted chicken pieces in it as the main dish served with a salad.
RECIPE Ina’s variation / My changes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter / salted
1 tablespoon good olive oil / Smart Balance vegetable oil
12 ounces cremini mushrooms, stems removed, caps sliced 1/4-inch thick
1/2 cup heavy cream / Skim Milk
3 ounces white truffle butter/ Isola Italian Truffle Butter You could cut this down to 2 ounces also
8 .82 ounces fresh fettuccine / Simply Nature Organic Linguini
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, plus extra for garnish
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for garnish / freshly grated Peccarino Romano cheese – less pungant
Add 1 teaspoon salt to a large pot of water and bring it to a boil.
Meanwhile, melt the butter and oil in a large (12-inch) saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and saute for 5 to 10 minutes, tossing often, until the mushrooms are cooked.
Pour the skim milk into the saute pan and heat it over medium heat until it simmers. Add the truffle butter, 1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, lower the heat to very low and swirl the butter until it melts. Add the Romano and stir. Keep warm over very low heat.
Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook per package directions. Drain the pasta and return to the pasta pan, reserve a little of the pasta water if needed. Add the sauce to the pasta and incorporate till all is mixed. Transfer to a large bowl. Sprinkle with chives. Have extra Romano available for others to use as well.
This recipe IS a crowd pleaser. Once again, thank you Ina.
Just remember, taste is personal. I find many chefs use A LOT of excess salt and butter – even family members. Less is best.