This is a comfort food meal, make no mistake. Rich, velvety, cheesy sauce with fresh pasta and posh mushrooms, pretty much my idea of heaven, and weekend indulgence in a nutshell.
Although, before you give up hope entirely on the nutritional value of this meal, you should know that World’s Healthiest Foods have bigged up Shiitake mushrooms for being a good source of iron and a cheerleader for the immune system.
- 375g fresh tagliatelle
- 25g butter
- 25g flour
- 300ml milk
- 125g cheddar, grated (stronger the better)
- 450g shiitake mushrooms (or any other of your choice, but make them posh or you’ll negate the whole notion of weekend indulgence and I’ll be disappointed in you)
- 2 cloves garlic
A quick note on the ingredients – I tried this recipe out for the first time today using 200g mushrooms, there were nowhere near enough so I double-and-a-half-ed the amount advised. I come from a garlic-obsessed little family so it may be that two cloves are one too many for you.
- Roughly chop your mushrooms, imagine you’re Jamie Oliver or perhaps Nigella on one of her lazier shows (the best kind), doing a polite but humorous impression of them at the same time as chopping ensures perfect rustic-looking mushroom chunks. Now’s the time to chop the garlic too, you can’t skip out on this one, make sure it’s chopped really fine.
- Shiitake mushrooms take a while to cook, so you want to get those on the heat as soon as you start your sauce – a knob of butter in a non-stick frying pan on a medium heat, once they’ve been going for 5 minutes throw the garlic in there too. They don’t need loads of attention but give them a little stir every now and then.
- This is the age old butter, flour, milk and cheese method for a pasta sauce, I have changed literally nothing. Melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the flour and cook for 1 minute, make sure you’re keeping it moving or it’ll burn and you’ll have to start over.
- Slowly add the milk drizzle by drizzle, if you pour it all in at once you risk getting stuck with some serious lumps and you can’t allow lumps of flour to infiltrate velvety cheesy sauce, that would not be OK. You need to be constantly stirring from this point onwards, it’s annoying but I’m afraid it’s pretty much essential.
- You’ll get to a stage after some time where the milk and flour will have come together but it seems far to watery to be a sauce, stay strong, keep stirring and you will soon reach a thicker consistency. Once you’re nearly happy with the consistency, its go time for the pasta.
- I chose fresh tagliatelle because its delicious and takes four minutes to cook, drop it straight in to some boiling, salted water and keep it on a medium to high heat.
- For the next 30 seconds or so you will be dealing with 3 pans at once, keep calm, you’re an adult, you can do this. You should now have a sauce consistency you’re happy with so take the pan off the heat and add the cheese. You’re now back down to 2 pans, you made it.
- The mushrooms should be golden brown, if you’re in doubt just taste one and if it tastes done its done, if it tastes like it wants longer, crank the heat up.
- Drain the pasta, pour the sauce over it, add the mushrooms.
- If you have freshly ground black pepper, you shouldn’t need a reminder to use it.
Another nice addition to this meal might be upping the class of the cheese, cheddar can feel too every-day for mushrooms and pasta of such calibre. If you know the perfect cheese to sub cheddar for in this recipe, get in touch, because I will definitely be making this again.
Track recommendation is Magic by Coldplay because I do, did and always will love them so sue me. Some white wine might be nice, too.
Thanks for reading x