my good friend john inspired this recipe. john is one of those people i envy. not only is he a wildly talented chef whose job description involves lots of traveling & eating (must be awful), but he is also very kind & fun to be around. yesterday, he tweeted a picture of his dinner: wild mushroom tortellini with truffle oil & shallots. seeing as i had mushrooms, shallots & truffle oil on hand, i immediately began to harass him in hopes of getting the recipe. he promptly replied that there was no recipe & instead provided me with an incomplete list of ingredients. although the limited information seemed unpromising, i felt bad for the garlic, shallots & mushrooms getting lonely in my fridge in anticipation of winter break. every time i opened it, they looked at me as if to say, “well? are you really just going to let us rot here alone during christmas?” of course not, my friends. i have a heart.
the result was a creamy, cheesy, buttery nirvana, rich with flavors of garlic & mushroom. nutmeg & thyme created warm undertones that made me happy to be sitting cross-legged around my coffee table with some of my favorite madisonians on this chilly winter evening. mysteriously, fifteen minutes after i’d put the food on the table, there was only one serving left of this eight-serving recipe even though there were just four of us. you do the math.
-8 tbsp butter, divided
-2 shallots, chopped
-2 cloves garlic, chopped
-2.5 cups mushrooms (use any kind you want – wild or portobello would’ve probably been even better than the plain old button ones i used)
-16 oz. pasta
-1 tbsp truffle oil
-1 cup heavy cream
-5 oz. aged parmesan
-1/8 tsp. dried thyme
-1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
-garlic salt to taste
1) bring a large pot of water to a boil. meanwhile, melt 1 tbsp. butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat & add shallots.
2) after 2 minutes, add mushrooms. sprinkle with garlic salt & stir to coat with butter. cook until mushrooms give up their liquid & become tender (about 5 minutes). transfer to a small bowl & set aside.
3) at this point, water should be boiling in the large pot. add pasta. meanwhile, saute garlic until golden in the large saucepan (about 1-2 minutes). do not saute garlic for too long or it will become bitter.
4) add garlic to the bowl with mushrooms & shallots. melt the remaining 7 tbsp. of butter over medium high heat in the same large saucepan you’ve been using to saute the vegetables.
5) when butter is melted, add the truffle oil & cream. stir frequently until cream thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
6) while cream is heating, drain pasta & return to pot (heat beneath pot should be off at this point). add the parmesan to the pasta, stirring until cheese melts.
7) add the mushroom mixture, cream mixture & remaining ingredients to the pasta. combine everything. enjoy!