Caramelized onions and dried mushroom pappardelle

August 8, 2014

 

Ingredients:

  • Fresh pappardelle

  • A bunch of onions

  • Garlic

  • A fistful of dried mushrooms

  • Lemon thyme (optional)

  • Nutmeg

  • White truffle oil

  • Aged parmesan

 

It's Friday night. Going out is the last thing on your mind, but your palate yearns for something savory. What do you do?

 

Well, if you're like me, there are some ingredients you always have ready. Onions, for instance. Or dried mushrooms. Eggs. Flour, possibly superfine (type 00), but any flour will do, really.

 

This pasta was by far the most tasty, even gourmet, from-the-pantry-style dish I made to this day. To be honest, not everyone keeps white truffle oil and aged parmesan ready at all times, but to me the point is that these are the sort of ingredients you can have ready at all time. 

 

Preparation was just under 2 hours, but lot of that was unattended or even idle time. It begins with making the fresh pasta (just follow Jamie's recipe). After the pasta sheets have dried a bit, cut them into pappardelle. Dust the sheet of dough with some flour and loosely roll it into a cylinder. Using a sharp knife, cut into wide slices. Unfold the pasta, shake to get rid of excess flour and hang to dry until cooking.

 

 

While your dough rests in the fridge (that's before you cut it. I'm going non-linear on you), soak the dried mushrooms in hot water for at least 30 minutes. Take some onions, preferably small ones, slice them into halves, removing the root and peel off the outer layer. If the onions are big, quarter them, otherwise you can leave them in halves. Caramelize the onions; you can use a pan or an oven, but my favorite method is using a pressure cooker.

 

 

After your onions have browned nicely, slice a few cloves of garlic and throw them into a wide pan or wok along with some butter. Drain the mushrooms, reserving the water and add them to the pan. Stir well and simmer until the garlic starts to golden. Grate a punch of nutmeg into the sauce and add some good white wine. Deglaze, add a pinch of salt and the soaking water. Add a few sprigs of lemon thyme, if you have any, and reduce on medium heat.

 

 

When the mushroom water has all but evaporated, add the caramelized onions. If you used the pressure cooker method, the onions would've released a lot of water into the canning jar. Pour this water along with the onions into your pan and reduce. Otherwise, just stir the onions into your pan.

 

 

Meanwhile, cook the pappardelle al-dente, then add to the pan and mix with the sauce. Cook for a minute, then turn off the heat, grind some black pepper over the pasta and drizzle a bit of white truffle oil. Serve immediately with lots of aged parmesan.

 

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