Thursday, July 1, 2010

Saucy Pasta

There's something special about fresh pasta, though it's really no different than the dried pasta that comes out of the box. You can make fresh pasta yourself, and I do that sometimes, but you can also purchase fresh pasta in the refrigerated section at your grocery store. What I find especially exciting is the increase in selections of fresh whole wheat pasta. Fresh taste, and good for you, too! This pasta is about the taste of the pasta itself, augmented by a light olive oil and herb sauce. It's topped with some thin shavings of Parmesan.


1 container of fresh pasta, preferably whole wheat
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
2 Tbs minced fresh basil
2 Tbs minced fresh thyme
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp truffle oil (optional)
Parmesan cheese for slicing


Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. Make sauce while water is coming to a boil. Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a nonstick pan. Add mushrooms, basil, and thyme and cook until mushrooms start to brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook one additional minute. Remove sauce from heat. Cook pasta according to package directions. Fresh pasta usually cooks quite quickly, in just a couple of minutes. Taste a strand of pasta to make sure it's done, drain the pasta, and pour the cooked pasta into the pan with the sauce. Add the truffle oil, if using. Serve pasta, topping each serving with freshly shaved Parmesan cheese.

Serves 2 or 3.

Stealthy Cooking Tip: Here's an excellent recipe to use your best tasting extra virgin olive oil. It will impart delicious flavor to this dish. Don't overheat the oil, or it will smoke, so keep the heat at medium to medium-high. Adding truffle oil at the end adds another layer of delicious flavor. Truffle oil is expensive, and it's addition is optional. Parmesan cheese is a strong tasting cheese, so a little goes a long way. Shave just a few pieces over the finished dish.

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