Archive for the Pasta Category

A: Lush mush.

Posted in Pasta with tags , , on October 15, 2008 by gluttondressedaslamb

Nothing jazzes up the common whle mushroom more than a frypan rendesvous with its slightly more exotic cousins. The mass of tall, lush mushrooms on the left are King Oyster mushrooms. We spotted these at our local fruit and veg shop and couldn’t help it! Of course who can ignore the very pretty Enoki mushrooms, and then there are the good old plain Jane mushies. They say mushrooms are like the beef steak in non-meat-eating circles. Just to be sure though, I decided to meat it up even further with a slab of speck. Mmmm… cured meat…

Opted for a simple pasta dish, seeing how this was indeed a work night and the demands of an empty stomach sat only a distant second to precious couch-tv time!

Speck-tacularly lush mush-ghetti

I haven’t included specific measurements as I actually don’t know how much/little of anything went into this. It’s really quite fool-proof and you could tweak it to suit all manner of fusspots (unless it’s an anti-mushroom fusspot, in which case I suggest we not attempt a mushroom-laden pasta dinner!).


Speck, sliced into generous batons

Mixed mushrooms, sliced/torn apart depending on what you have

Thyme leaves

Smoked and sweet paprika

Sliced chilli and garlic

Vermouth/white wine



Place speck in a cold pan and turn the gas on. Allow speck to render and cook in its own fat.

Drain most of the fat away and remove speck from the pan.

Fry off mushrooms with paprikas, adding enoki, shitake and other similarly fragile/soft mushrooms towards the end. Chuck in the garlic and chillies about halfway through. I find that the flavour of the mushrooms really improves when they are sauteed over a low heat until 90% of the liquid is cooked out.

Add a splash of vermouth and let alcohol evaporate.

Return the speck to the pan, as well as some cream (or none at all, depending on what you like).

Stir though cooked pasta and enjoy!

The King Oyster mushroom was really meaty and dense. It didn’t go as floppy as the while mushrooms when cooked and was very sweet! It’s not a cheap addition to the meal at A$5 a bag, but I do think we shall see it again on our dinner plates some time soon.


A: Making lazy look good.

Posted in Pasta with tags , , , , on August 10, 2008 by gluttondressedaslamb
Adding some colour to the mix!

Adding some colour to the mix!

A friend of mine gave me a 250g packet of this beautiful linguine mare, which probably translates to something that clues in to its colour, or not. The point is, it’s just gorgeous! And most importantly does not lose its colour when cooked.

So what better dish to cook on this lazy Sunday night than a faithful standby of pasta and pancetta?

In this instance I used speck, let’s say a slab of speck since I didn’t get a chance to check the weight before greedily slicing and dicing into generous matchstick pieces. Fry speck/pancetta in its own fat until crispy (I chuck it all into a cold pan and heat it up while pasta cooks.) Add 3-4 garlic cloves and as many chillies as you’d like, finely diced. Do this right at the end since it won’t take long for the garlic to fry off. I sometimes put the garlic in then turn off the heat and it’s often enough to cook it just right.

Toss everything together with 2-3 tablespoons of cooking liquid from the pasta, top with lots of cheese, pepper and some extra virgin olive oil and enjoy!

Embellish as you see fit. This time I added broad beans, but have also done it with baby spinach or parsley or rocket stirred in at the end as well. Bon appetit!

30-minute wonder. Rachel Ray eat your heart out!