Yash had helped me look for my apartment. After I started cooking more or less full time, it was only obvious that I’d invite him to dinner. We kept it simple. I bought a bottle of La Reserve (because he doesn’t like whites). And we had it with some mushroom and cream pasta. Personally, I think a white wine would’ve gone better – I’ve come to love the Sula Chenin Blanc, even though Jacob’s Creek Chardonnay is my absolute favourite. But I’ll cut short on the attempt at wine snobbery and get straight to the recipe.
Since this is a recipe I pulled together with whatever I had in my fridge, I have no measures, really. Cooking by taste is the best way to do it. I follow it for non-dessert or non-dough recipes, in general. Besides, this is an effortless recipe. Everything just gets together in fifteen minutes and it’s a fairly sumptuous meal.
Your choice of pasta
A packet of mushrooms
A bunch of garlic cloves
A lot of crushed pepper
Some fresh basil (or some out of a jar)
Olive oil, to cook
Salt, to taste
Some heavy cream (or milk, in which case you will have to use a little bit of flour to help it thicken)
1. Roughly chop the garlic. I like the garlic nice and chunky in my pasta. And a lot of it. However, if you are averse to garlic, for instance, on a date night, use it in smaller quantities. And use garlic paste, if you don’t like it chunky.
2. Heat some oil. And add the garlic to it.
3. When the garlic is just slightly burnt (oh, burnt garlic can make food taste a whole different level better, but just be sure it’s only a tad burnt, lightly browning), add the mushrooms and pepper and saute for a few minutes until the mushrooms are reduced to half their size and properly cooked.
4. In the meanwhile, bring some water to boil. Add a dash of olive oil and some salt and then proceed to cook the pasta, al dente (Today’s posh word for the day. In case you were thinking it was Chardonnay, you’re mistaken. *thumbs down*)
5. Add some cream to the mushrooms, to get a thick saucy texture. Remember, you don’t want very much sauce because who likes saucy pasta, man!
6. Drain the pasta and add it to the mushrooms and give everything a good stir. Check for salt and add salt, if required.
7. Finish off by adding your choice of herb and giving it a quite mix for a minute or so. I used basil from a jar, because that’s what I had. But you can use parsley or oregano. They should work just fine.
8. Sprinkle some parmesan for added posh and serve with garlic bread, may be?
I think the recipe should work well with shrimp or chunks of chicken added to the mushrooms too.