Saturday, October 6, 2007

Fettuccine e Verdure

I was so busy thinking about the wonderful grilled chicken that I had planned for dinner tonight, that I forgot to plan what I would serve with it. The Professor likes chicken just as much as the next guy, but if I simply gave him a plate full of meat and went on my way, he would probably take me to a shrink. So I had to come up with something fairly quickly. In my world, that means randomly pulling things out of the refrigerator or pantry and throwing them in one big bowl and giving it a fancy name. Somehow, I have convinced the Professor that this is an actual talent, rather than desperation.

This was the pasta of choice. When he asked, I told him it's called Fettuccine e verdure.

Somehow Fettuccine and vegetables sounds much more like an actual planned dish when you say it in Italian.

The fresh basil and Parmesan cheese were the stars of this dish. Everything else was just there to give them something to cling to. Although a plate of Parmesan cheese and basil sounds pretty good, now that I think about it...

8 ounces Fettuccine
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, cut in decent size chunks
1 white onion, cut in decent size chunks
1 pound button mushrooms, cut in decent size chunks (our mushrooms were HUGE, so I quartered most of them)
olive oil
one stick of butter, divided
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup half and half
about 6 or 7 fresh basil leaves, chopped

start cooking your pasta.

Slowly heat the olive oil and garlic in a skillet without really sauteing, so the garlic infuses the oil.
Add the onions and peppers and saute them for five minutes. Add the mushrooms and - here's the really yummy part - add several tablespoons of butter. The mushrooms will absorb that like drunks on a 3 day binge.

Drain your pasta and return it to your pan. I added about 3 tablespoons of butter and a half a cup of Parmesan cheese. Then on a whim, I grabbed the half and half out of the fridge and splashed about 1/4 cup in the pasta. Once the butter is melted, add your sauteed vegetables and your chopped basil and stir it all together.

As a side note - some of the onion stuck to the saute pan, and apparently continued to cook while I stirred my pasta-ness together. Those five or six little pieces got brown and crispy, and had such an incredible taste. Maybe next time I'll saute the onions separately so that they can really caramelize.

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