Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Mouse Shall Eat Mushrooms

I had to take online traffic school last weekend. Sometime around my wedding, my brain took a break and I forgot how to follow street signs. Apparently even the simplest one became illegible. On one march day, I performed more of a slow roll through an alleged STOP sign and got a $300 ticket. My first ticket...ever.

So, while my husband was at an Irish sports bar watching the USA v. England game with our friends, I was sitting at my kitchen table listening to 'comedians' talk about the hazards of driving on a one-lane road in the rain. Death jokes people, there were death jokes. It was excruciating. I was just about ready to take the point on my license when I saw the mushrooms, sage and garlic sitting quietly on the kitchen counter.

I thought... "I'm a multi-tasker. Plus I bought the audio version of comedy traffic school. Why not cook my pain away and listen to these assholes at the same time? I mean, the Husband hates mushrooms anyway, so while the cat's away, the mouse shall avert gouging her eyes out with her 'California-stop' citation and make comfort food. Savory awesome fungus... in cream sauce.

Creamy Mushroom Pasta with Sage and Brandy
Feeds two or one really hungry woman under house arrest

1/2 Package of Garofalo pasta (or whatever you like)
1 Standard carton of crimini mushrooms (farmer's market ones are the best)
1/2 T chopped fresh sage
2 Big cloves of chopped garlic
1 T brandy (or dry sherry)
1/2 Cup of half and half (you can do milk or any combo of the two)
1 T butter
1 T roasted pine nuts
Salt and pepper to taste
A sprinkle of parmesan cheese

Bring salted water to a boil in a big pot and toss in pasta. Add butter to a large skillet on medium heat

and in sliced crimini mushrooms. Do not salt the mushrooms now. Salting brings out the moisture and won't let the mushrooms brown. The brown bits impart great flavor into the sauce. Be sure you have a pan that is wide enough so that none of the mushrooms overlap.

Once they are developing some color toss in the garlic and sage. Saute for a bit until the garlic is translucent and the mushrooms have a nice brown color. Add the brandy then a little salt and pepper. When the brandy is all but gone, add the half and half and reduce the heat. It should look like this...

Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. If you are feeling extra indulgent you can finish the sauce with a little extra dab of butter. Turn off the heat, drain pasta and toss the pasta into the skillet.

Serve with pine nuts and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

A crisp dry white wine would have made this meal completete but it was noon and I still had to take my quiz about "Pepper the Pizzaboy" and how his loud music drowned out the fire truck's sirens. Don't worry, the wine came eventually. I needed to drown out the voices in my head.


  1. I love your blog! And your food addiction, affliction, obsession!

    the Nomad Chef

  2. Hehe love this post, I had no idea that you were suffering at the hands of audio comedians! At least some good came from it :-).

  3. I also did not know such a thing as "Audio Traffic School" existed. Sounds totally delightful. ;)