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.



Whats Cookin Italian Style Cuisine said...

what a great tribute. I just the love the heavy cream addition... you know I love everything you write do and cook cheers to a blessed holiday season and thanks so much for stopping by today! XO!!

Angie's Recipes said...

Quick, comforting and so delicious! Continue to enjoy the beautiful Fall, Claudia.

Chiara said...

a special comfort food, this pasta looks delicious Claudia !

Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

This pasta is definitely worth the indulgence. With the cooler weather comes the need for comfort and comfort food. I'm with you with everyone being welcome at my table---just as was true for many generations of my family.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Definitely need some warm blankets and purring kitties at the moment! Oh, and this wonderful pasta dish. Wonderful combo of flavors! Can never get enough pasta. Ever. Particularly now. Thanks for this.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! It's funny that only Americans will say something like "fighting carbs," but I so know what you mean. Pasta is a lovely indulgence, and a few million Italians can't be wrong!

chow and chatter said...

great post, delicious food and open arms ;-)

Frank said...

Funny thing, my pasta consumption went way up this week, too. Comfort food is what many of us need right now!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

A beautiful sentiment, Claudia. If only the rest of the world were so accepting. The pasta looks darn delicious too.

Roz | La Bella Vita Cucina said...

What a beautiful post written from your heart, an amazing poet to me. I, too, welcome you and all to my tavola, no matter what differences. Funny, I never knew that my grandparents and yours were classified as 'white' or 'brown'. Peace to all and especially to the brave peacemakers, such as you, Claudia.

Beth said...

What a lovely post. I think we're all in need of comfort, and comfort food, these days. I love the idea of a kitchen table being the most welcoming place - where everyone is invited and all are nurtured.