Friday, 18 February 2011

Rigatoni with Creamy Mushroom and Crab Sauce

We are using our noodles here this week, and in this case I went the extra step and made my own rigatoni - thanks to the new KitchenAid pasta extruder that Santa gave me for Christmas. I still get excited to see the pasta coming out of the plates and line them up lovingly in a pan to admire before boiling and devouring them.

My favourite type of pasta to make is the simple eggs+flour+salt. That gives you the base into which you can add some herbs, puréed veggies or, in this case, a leftover roasted potato (peeled). The spud gave the pasta a nice softish consistency which went perfectly with the creamy sauce.

Originally the recipe called for a whole pound of shrooms. I found I only had half a pound so I set about finding something to make up for the difference. I settled on a tin of crab meat and a cup of petit pois (small peas). Necessity is indeed the mother of invention, and, as we know, such invention often leads to delicious new flavours. Like this. Quite decadent, quite delicious. Try it yourself!

Fresh noodles in the Kitchen - where apparently it is too dim for photos..
Rigatoni with Creamy Mushroom and Crab Sauce
Recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis,


    * 1 pound rigatoni pasta (I made my own)
    * 2 tablespoons olive oil
    * 2 large shallots, halved and sliced thinly
    * 4 cloves garlic, minced
    * Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    * ½ pound cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
    * ½ cup white wine
    * ½ cup vegetable stock
    * 1 tin crab meat
    * 1 cup petit pois - frozen is fine
    * 1 cup (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature (I used very creamy yogurt cheese)
    * ½ cup grated Parmesan
    * ¼ cup sliced fresh green onion


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. (Less if using fresh pasta)

While the pasta is cooking:

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook until mushrooms are tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 to 7 minutes. Turn the heat to high. Add the wine and cook for 3 minutes until all the liquid evaporates. Add the stock and peas and simmer until liquid is slightly reduced. Stir in crab meat. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the mascarpone cheese. Stir until creamy. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1 cup of the pasta water, and transfer to a serving bowl. Add the mushroom mixture and the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Toss well to coat pasta, adding the reserved pasta water, if needed, to loosen the pasta. Garnish with the green onion. Serve immediately.