8.04.2014

MUSHROOM PASTA // elspeth


Market day is a conundrum for me. It is both exhilarating and exhausting, something I look forward to immensely and something I dread. I think most things that are worth doing are like this—that they involve some combination of getting up too early or staying up too late and feeling frantic, only to be interspersed with moments of pure joy and pride. 



Our market has grown a lot in the last three years. We've gone from a handful of vendors to over twenty, and our offerings have expanded from veggies and seedlings and eggs to include locally-raised meats, fruit, sea salt, artisan chocolate, chai, preserves, baked goods, bread, honey, and even mushrooms. We have live music every week, and the little green behind Pres Hall fills up with people—home cooks, day trippers, families, chefs. Some are there every Wednesday, and some stop in on their way to the beach or the pond, just that once.

By the time Wednesday nights roll around, I don't have much energy left to cook. Luckily it's a night we're both home, and recently, we've been making the same thing every week—sautéed mushrooms over either pasta or toast. I buy a grab bag from Wes—whatever he wants to give me—and Alex cooks them down with garlic and butter and white wine. Sometimes he adds a little mayonnaise at the end, to thicken the sauce, but mostly he just tosses the mixture over pasta or toast. It tastes meaty and rich but without all the fuss of roasting a chicken or simmering beef, and alongside a few cucumber slices or a handful of fresh carrots, it makes a meal.

It also reminds me why I love the market—for the food it provides to our community, and for the people who make it happen. It's a day and a place that are pretty special.


SAUTEED MUSHROOMS OVER PASTA

This isn't a recipe, really, so much as a suggestion. The mushrooms change from week to week, and so far as I can tell there's no such thing as too much garlic, or butter.

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
3-4 large cloves garlic
1/2 pound fresh mixed mushrooms, chopped
sea salt to taste
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 pound cooked pasta (we often use whole wheat fusilli)
optional: 1 tablespoon mayonnaise

Warm up the olive oil and the butter over medium heat in a large cast iron skillet. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly, until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 5-6 minutes. Turn the heat up to high and slowly pour the white wine around the edge of the pan. Cook another 1-2 minutes, until it is reduced by half. Turn off the heat, taste for salt, and add more as needed. Toss the mushrooms with the pasta. If you want a slightly thicker  and richer dish, add the mayo and stir well. Serve warm.

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