Food + Wine

Fettuccine with Mushrooms, Corn and Crispy Sage

This meal is so comforting and rich, I’m just so pleased that I have so much leftover!  It’s one of those meals that just came together on the fly… I knew I was making pasta and then I just looked in my fridge and checked out what else I had to use.  It’s lovely.  The fried sage leaves are such a wonderful little treat for your mouth, they’re light and crispy and downright addictive.  I would actually recommend making some for your next cocktail party to serve on your cheese platter…they would do wonderful things alongside some bleu cheese.  If you can’t find prosciutto at your grocery store and you happen to be from the South, try this with country ham and dice it very small.

This pasta dish has almost everything I love about fall in it…but also a little nod to the end of summer with the corn.  It’s a perfect combo.  I hope you enjoy it as much as my family did!

*Fettuccine with Mushrooms, Corn and Crispy Sage
(feeds about 8)

-While you begin your sauce, bring a large pot of water to a boil, then salt it heavily for the pasta.
-In a large skillet on medium-high heat, with a small amount of olive oil, add 3 ounces of thinly sliced prosciutto and fry until crispy.  Remove and set aside.
-Add 2 TB of unsalted butter to the pan and once melted, add two bunches of fresh sage leaves (and the stems for extra flavor), which is about 25-30 leaves.  They will pop and sizzle, and the butter will turn a golden brown, this is a good thing.  Once they leaves have begun to crisp up, carefully flip them and remove to cool with the prosciutto, discard the stems.

You now have brown sage butter.

-Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil into the pan to prevent the butter from burning and add 2 large shallots, minced.  Shake the pan and cook for about 1 minute.
-Add in 16 ounces of cremini mushrooms, sliced and toss to coat in the butter/oil.
-Allow the mushrooms to begin to brown and release their liquids, which can take a few minutes, before you salt them.  Once the liquid from the mushrooms has come out, the pan is dry again and the mushrooms are golden brown, add a good amount of kosher salt and black pepper.  Taste to check seasoning.
-Add 1/2 cup dry sherry and scrape up the bits from the bottom of the pan.  Cook this for about 1 minute.
-Add in 1 cup of your milk/cream of choice (I like to cook with evaporated whole milk instead of cream) and stir well.  Season with a lot of freshly grated nutmeg and reduce by almost half.  Taste to check your seasoning and add more salt if need be.
-While the sauce is cooking, drop your pasta.  Cook 1 pound of fettuccine to al dente (I like to use fresh,
which only takes a couple minutes to cook.  If you buy it, the packages
are usually 9 oz, so you will need 2, which will be a tad over 1 lb.
And here’s my recipe for fresh pasta if you want to make your own.)

-When the sauce and noodles are done, add the raw kernels from 3 ears of corn (or about 1-2 cups of frozen) and toss.
-Add your cooked noodles directly to the sauce and before tossing, add in 1 cup of grated Parmigiano Reggiano.  Toss to coat the noodles in the cheese and sauce.  If the sauce seems too tight, add some pasta water*.

-Plate each serving and add a spoonful of ricotta cheese in the center (whole milk ricotta is best!  And here’s my recipe for fresh ricotta if you really want something special.) Season with the zest of 1 lemon, more nutmeg and some of your crispy prosciutto and sage leaves.

(*save some pasta water for storing leftovers too…the pasta will continue to soak up sauce as it sits in the fridge.)


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