PastaMania #07: "Farfalle Funghi Asparagi" (Farfalle with Mushrooms and Asparagus)
· First you'll need 24 oz De Cecco farfalle
· 24 oz asparagus
· 6 oz fresh mushrooms
· 4 tablespoons De Cecco extra virgin olive oil
· 1 onion
· 2 oz Parmigiano
· A bunch of basil
· Salt to taste
· Clean thoroughly and slice the fresh porcini mushrooms.
· Finely dice the onion.
· Take the asparagus, remove stems and cut lengthwise into thin strips.
· Remember to only use fresh vegetables and prepare them yourself. They're more flavourful than frozen, pre-cut vegetables.
· Pour extra virgin olive oil into a large saucepan and add the onion first.
· After a minute or so, add asparagus and stir until the onion is golden.
· Once onion is ready, add porcini.
· Cook for ten minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste and stirring thoroughly till well mixed.
· When the water comes to a boil, add coarse salt and toss in the farfalle, stirring occasionally so it doesn't stick.
· Check to make sure the farfalle you are using is made in Italy with durum wheat semolina.
· The best Italian pasta stays firm after cooking and has a rough texture that the sauce sticks to better.
· Cook farfalle for 12 minutes.
· If you cook it longer, Italians won't like it! Pasta must be "al dente"—or firm to the bite. Don't strain the pasta—just remove it from the pot using a large slotted spoon and add it to the saucepan. The starch in the water will help the sauce stick to the pasta.
· Cook over a high flame for a minute or so.
· While stirring thoroughly, sprinkle with fresh basil and parmesan.
· Farfalle con porcini e asparagi should be paired with a crisp, fresh Italian white such as Pinot Grigio from the northern region of Alto Adige. Or if you want to stay in the region of origin, try a Grechetto or Orvieto from Umbria.
... AND REMEMBER: To make an excellent pasta dish, use excellent pasta!