As a food writer, I firmly believe that my audience should understand where I’m coming from in terms of my tastes in food. To account for this, I have compiled a short list of foods that I have craved within the past week. Mind you, if I listed everything I craved in the past week you’d probably get bored of reading because the wall of text would be more intimidating than the one they tore down in Berlin.
-Caprese -Apples -Grapefruit -Steak with mushrooms and horseradish -Tuna nigiri -Duck confit -Sprite -Cucumber soda -Watermelon -Bacon -Chocolate -Bacon dipped in chocolate -Strawberries dipped in chocolate -Ayran (a sour, peppery yogurt drink from the Middle East) -Potato chips -Beet salad -Fried okra -Ginger beer -Scotch -Anything with garlic -Anything with lamb -Garlic lamb -Peaches -Wilted spinach with nutmeg -Etouffee -Cantonese duck -Thai duck curry (as pictured below) -Potatoes fried in duck fat -French fries fried in duck fat -My leather shoes fried in duck fat -Pancetta -Sundried tomatoes -Pork buns -Any of my mother’s baked goods (especially berry pie, pictured above)
That should give you some idea of what you’re dealing with. By the way, I will be trying to coerce my mother to give me a few of her baking recipes to post on this blog, since I’m a terrible baker and I feel like I should have some baking recipes on a blog that’s supposed to be about all types of food.
Yes, it’s springtime, and I love spring vegetables. I love the idea of making something with seasonal things, especially in this day and age where you can get tomatoes year round in the grocery store. That being said, I don’t have a great knowledge of what vegetables are in season during which times of the year, so I consulted my trusty friend, Google. If you type in “seasonal vegetable chart”, you’ll get tons of very comprehensive hits. I zeroed in on mushrooms, leeks, garlic, carrots, and herbs. The reason why this recipe is less than traditional is because it incorporates a cream sauce, which is not usually found in pasta primaveras. I like cream sauces though, and I think they go extremely well with mushrooms, so I made mine as such. I apologize in advance for the lack of a picture because the only picture I was able to take before my camera died was of a mound of pasta and a single mushroom; and let’s be honest, I wasn’t going to wait to charge the battery to take another picture before digging in. The fact that it was so good I didn’t have time to take a picture should be more of a testament to the quality of this dish than the picture you were invariably expecting.
-1 pound of pasta -1 pound of mushrooms (I used shitakes and creminis, but you can use whatever you like), washed and sliced -2 leeks, sliced thin -2 carrots, sliced about the same size as the mushrooms -5 cloves of garlic, minced -2 sprigs of thyme, leaves only, lightly chopped -2 tablespoons olive oil -2 tablespoons butter -1/3 cup of dry white wine -2 teaspoons Kosher salt plus more to taste -2 teaspoons pepper -1/2 cup creme fraiche
In a large pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and the butter. Once the butter has melted, add the mushrooms and about half the salt. Don’t worry if some water comes out, just wait until it reduces out. After four minutes, add the carrots, the thyme leaves, and half the pepper. Stir occasionally and let them cook down for about five minutes. Add the leeks and incorporate the rest of the salt and pepper. Cook these down for another six minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add your wine or stock and wait until it reduces out, then add the creme fraiche and stir to incorporate, then reduce it to your liking (I barely reduced mine).
Once the water is boiling for the pasta (it should be a little before you add your garlic), add a palmful of Kosher salt and add the pasta, stirring occasionally. Cook to aldente, strain, and return to the pot.
Toss the pasta into the veggies and sauce, with a small amount (1/4 cup) of the pasta water. Top with fresh grated parmesan.
Note: Yes, you can use sour cream instead of creme fraiche, but I highly suggest using creme fraiche; it really elevates your pasta and gives it more volume than sour cream. If you’re wondering how to make creme fraiche, here’s a quick explanation from a blog that I follow. I love his recipe, and it’s very simple. Seriously, you will do yourself a favor by using creme fraiche