Sunday, November 13, 2016

I Will Feed You Pasta

I'm not going to lie. It's been a tough week. I have been writing Antigone in Munich about Sophie Scholl and The White Rose Society. Sophie practiced and preached passive resistance in Germany in the early 1940's. It's a play for young audiences and it is filled with heart and heartbreaking. I find it interesting that I started this play the day I got home from Germany. Maybe there are no coincidences.

I have spent a few years fighting carbs. This week, I caved in. These are dishes that feed everyone - everyone and bring comfort. It's right up there with warm blankets and purring cats. (From Bon Appetit, October 2016) Need some comfort? Here we go.

Ingredients (4 servings)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
2 ounces prosciutto (about six slices)
1 pound mixed mushrooms, sliced
2 medium shallots, finely chopped
1 teaspoon thyme leaves plus more for serving
Kosher salt, ground pepper
1 cup chicken broth
12 ounces pappardelle or fettuccine
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter

Heat 1/4 olive oil in heavy pot (a Dutch Oven works) over medium heat.
Cook prosciutto in a single layer, turning till crisp.
Transfer to paper towels and drain.
Heat remaining two tablespoons of oil in same pot. Cook mushrooms 5-8 minutes until brown and tender. Turn heat to lmedium-low, add shallots and 1 teaspoon of thyme, a little salt and pepper and cook (constantly stirring) until shallots are translucent. Turn heat to low. Add chicken broth and simmer until there is only a thin layer left.
Cook pasta in another pot until very al dente - about three minutes less than recommended cooking time.  Using tongs, transfer pasta to to pot with mushrooms. Add 1 cup (I added less) of cooking liquid. Crumble half of prosciutto into pot. Increase heat to medium, cook stirring until pasta is finished (mine talk one minute, Bon Appetit says 2 minutes). Add cream, simmer and cook until pasta is coated. Remove from heat, add butter. Adjust seasonings. Put pasta in dishes (or one big dish dish), crumble the rest of the prosciutto on top and serve. Garnish with thyme. I always serve with Parmiggiano-Reggiano.

From start to finish, I was at the stove about twenty minutes. Fast, easy, fresh.

Food is nurture.  want to nurture. The body. And the soul.

This is first and foremost a food blog but I should let you know who I am.

I am the granddaughter of Italian immigrants. Grandma and Grandpa were from southern Italy so were marked "brown" at Ellis Island while northern Italians were marked "white."

All are welcome at my table. All. Every race, every religion, those with no religion, LGBT, immigrants. There are no walls. There never will be.

From Leonard Cohen, who has provided solace for me through the years.

"Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering,
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.