Fettuccine Margherita

5 12 2011

So I recently joined Mint.com to try and manage my budget. All I can say is, don’t do it. It makes you horrified and extremely disappointed in every single one of your spending decisions. Every. Single. One. I had to buy floss today and felt like a jerk.

But what mainly gets me is the amount I spend going on out to eat. I just love trying out new restaurants and all sorts of types of cuisine. But now instead of trying other peoples food, I will be trying out my own skills in the kitchen A LOT more. This month has been dubbed No Spend December. I am not going out to eat once. Home-cooked goodies all around. My wallet and tummy will be thanking me.

Starting NSD off, we have this lovely pasta dish. The original recipe called for one pound of pasta, but I kicked it down to half a pound. I don’t know if anyone else has this issue with pasta recipes, but the sauce:pasta ratios are always way off. A full pound of pasta is just going to absorb all of the sauce, leaving nothing  for me to dip my bread in or slurp from the bowl. So either double the amount of sauce or reduce the amount of pasta.

This sauce is really exquisite. Mushrooms browned in butter, mixed with tangy tomatoes, wine and silky cream blend together perfectly to make a dish that is ideal for a cozy night in. Pair with crusty bread and a glass of red wine and you wonder why you dish out cash for someone else to make this stuff for you.

On a different note, if you’re into beer, I have a few new reviews for brews you need to try over in the Beer Section: Sierra Nevada’s Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale, Anderson Valley’s Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout and Shipyard’s Smashed Pumpkin, to name a few.

Fettuccine Margherita
Adapted from Quick Vegetarian Pleasures

1/2 lb. fettuccine
2 tbs. olive oil
2 tbs. unsalted butter
12 oz (about 4 1/2 cups) sliced mushrooms
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 28-oz. can plum tomatoes, well-drained and chopped
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook the fettuccine until al dente in a large pot of boiling, salted water.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and saute until they brown and the juices begin to evaporate, about 7 minutes.

Add the garlic and red pepper and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the tomatoes and wine and boil 2 minutes, stirring often. Add the cream and salt and boil 1 minute.

Drain the fettuccine thoroughly. Place in a large bowl, then pour on the sauce and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Toss quickly and serve immediately.