(serves 2 full portions)
This is an easy fast pasta, something that can be cooked from scratch in under 15 minutes, great for those times you suddenly find out you need to whip out something from the kitchen immediately, or if this is the first time you are making pasta. The key to its speed is pesto, a great alternative to cutting up and frying a proper mirepoix or sofritto. It contains herbs, so you also don’t need to worry about adding any yourself. The mushrooms do a good job of soaking up flavour to go with the pasta. To sum up: it may be fast but it still looks and tastes great.
- Pesto Genevese (4t)
- White Mushrooms (140g)
- Garlic (6 cloves = 1/2 bulb)
- Parmigiano Reggiano (40g)
- Fettuccine (160g)
- Cream (100ml)
- Chicken stock cube (1/2)
- Cognac (1T)
- Put a pot of water to boil for the pasta.
- Grate the Parmigiano. For decorative purposes before grating you can, if you like, make some shavings of the cheese with a potato peeler.
- Manually break off and discard the stems of your mushrooms. Slice them top down into 1/8 inch thick pieces.
- Peel the garlic and put it through a garlic press. You should end up with 2 heaped t of garlic.
- Add a dash of olive oil and 1t of salt to the pot of boiling water, followed by the fettuccine.
- Put 3T of olive oil, 4t (heaping) of pesto and the minced garlic in a pan on medium heat. When the mixture is bubbling, add the mushrooms. Reduce to low heat and sautee.
- Mash half a chicken stock cube in 1/4 cup of hot water.
- When the mushrooms begin to soften, add 100 ml cream, the chicken stock plus 1T of cognac. Stir fry till the liquid is boiling. Sprinkle on the grated cheese, turn the heat off and continue stirring as the cheese melts.
- After the pasta has been boiling for about 7 minutes, drain it. It will still be a bit hard. Add the pasta to the pan with the sauce and toss fry on low heat till the pasta is al dente. This pasta dish is meant to be dryish (see photo) but if the pan begins to dry too much, sprinkle on a bit of water or cream.
- Season with a touch of black pepper before serving.
- To my friends who protest my recipes are too ‘complicated’, well here you go. The preparation describes everything done in parallel to save on time. If you like you can cook in stages. Cut the vegetables first, then make the sauce, and finally boil the pasta.
- This recipe is very scalable. To make pasta for 4, just double the amounts, the cooking time remains unchanged.
- I keep a bottle of store bought minced garlic in oil in the fridge for recipes where minced garlic is cooked. A great time saver. The same goes with pesto, no need to make it fresh if you are not eating it raw.
- Pesto is slightly sour already, so don’t substitute the brandy with something sour like wine.