There’s so much magic in reading children’s books. I’m reading the Little House series over again, and I found myself at a coffee shop today, nonchalantly hiding the title under my arm out of sheer embarrassment, and then proceeding to laugh out loud while reading the thing. There’s the part where Ma slaps a bear in the dark, thinking it’s their lowly cow, Sukey. Or when Laura has a disappointing corncob doll named Susan, and only held Mary’s prettier doll when Susan wasn’t looking.
But the most heartbreaking part is when Laura and Mary share the crispy pig’s tail, and they know there won’t be another one until next year. There’s not much glamour in the whole hog butchering thing, but to live simply and to truly enjoy something as much as that pig tail seems impossible when we eat standing over the sink, hurried. And the amount of food I waste every week is disgraceful. I’m pretty sure Pa spent the same amount of time butchering a hog as I do scrolling the internet every day.
I need a reset, folks! I want to live simpler and sit down to eat dinner and really eat the food and enjoy it and let it speak and listen to it.
So in the spirit of simplicity, I offer up a lovely, fresh, woodsy (yes woodsy) pasta dish. I made fresh noodles (no this is not a requirement, but I challenge you to try! You can absolutely do it without a machine–I’ve done it with a rolling pin and a knife.) Take some meditative time to roll out some pasta, which by the way is just flour, salt and eggs! Here’s the recipe I used from our lovely friends Cora and Louise for fresh pasta.
Have you heard of Mascarpone? It’s a delicious Italian version of cream cheese, but the texture is better in my opinion. It’s found at your everyday grocery store, usually in the deli near specialty cheeses like parmesan and fresh mozzarella.
I challenge you to make the sauce and really enjoy the meditative process while you caramelize the onions and mushrooms. And to smell it while it simmers down in wine and thyme. And salt it carefully, tasting. The best part is putting the micro greens on top, because the nutty mushrooms with the woodsy greens just make this lovely earthy pair that’s perfect with bright, fresh tomatoes. Let’s focus on simpler living, and make this pasta. Here’s how we do it!
Start by boiling a large pot of salty water for the noodles. Add your noodles and cook to al dente and have a nice firm bite. For fresh pasta, just 4 minutes, but for dried, follow the package directions. When they’re ready, drain them.Meanwhile, in a deep skillet or dutch oven, add the olive oil over medium high heat. Then throw in your mushrooms and onions, browning. Once everything is lovely and browned, add your thyme. Then add the wine and let it simmer down until all the liquid is gone.
Salt the mushrooms and then add some mascarpone cheese, parmesan, heavy cream, and stir together. Add the remaining white wine and turn down the mixture to low and let it simmer while we wait on the pasta to be ready.
Add the fresh tomatoes and stir together, into sauce, tasting for salt. If you need more add a pinch at a time until it’s just right. Then add in the cooked pasta and stir together.
Remove from heat and serve! Top each lovely bowl of pasta with a handful of micro greens and a grating of parmesan cheese.
Yum! It’s such a delcious, fresh dish. You’ll love the micro greens here and you’ll want to put them on everything! See the full recipe below.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 8 ounces sliced baby portobellos
- 1 yellow onion, sliced thinly
- ¾ cup dry white wine
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 5 ounces mascarpone cheese
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- kosher salt to taste
- 1 lb fettucine, or other pasta
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- a couple handfuls of microgreens
- Bring a large pot half full of water to boil for the pasta. Start on the sauce while you wait on the water to boil. Add pasta once the water is boiling, and cook to al dente. Drain it into a colander, covering with a towel until the sauce is done.
- In a large deep skillet, add the olive oil and heat over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and onions and saute, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are dark brown and the onions are translucent, about ten minutes. Add the thyme to the mixture and a pinch of salt and stir in. Add ½ cup of the white wine and let it cook down until the liquid is gone.
- Add the heavy cream, mascarpone, and parmesan, stirring into the mushrooms. Add the remaining ¼ cup wine and turn down to low. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add salt and taste to see if it needs more. Add the cherry tomatoes and pasta and stir together to combine.
- Serve hot, topping each serving with additional parmesan cheese and a handful of micro greens.