I spent a very frustrating day Friday, during which I was wrestling unsuccessfully with the idiosyncrasies of iTunes on my Mac — attempting to transfer a Playlist and the accompanying 290 songs to my new iPhone. By 7:00 PM I was fed up, so I retreated to the kitchen to make dinner. Barbara was out the the evening, so I went to my comfort food — pasta.
Unsure of where I was going, I started by gathering ingredients I wanted or needed to use, and began to cook.
- partially used package of spaghetti — take out 130 gm.
- red onion, garlic, and leek — sliced into small chunks
- less than 1 cup of leftover, cooked Rancho Gordo Vallarta beans
- 8 medium sized white mushrooms, sliced
- 2 Tbs. truffle/mushroom sauce in a jar (from Eataly)
- a handful of fresh basil leaves, cut into a chiffonade
- 1/2 tsp. hot chili flakes, from a Small-Farm dried hot pepper (seeds removed)
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 chunk of Marsalino Pecorino with Truffles, for grating on the cooked pasta
Things came together pretty quickly:
- bring large pot full of water to a boil, add Kosher salt, then add pasta, cooing until just al dente, reserving up to one cup of pasta water.
- sauté leek and onion in olive oil, then add garlic and hot pepper when vegetables are tender, cook another 4-5 minutes, add Vallarta beans and heat through, then set asside
- in another skillet add more olive oil, and sauté mushrooms until medium brown in color. add white wine, then boil it off, adding salt and pepper when mostly evaporated.
- combine mushrooms with onion mixture, then add cooked spaghetti to the skillet.
- finish the spaghetti sauce with the addition of the basil and truffle/mushroom sauce, followed by the pasta water
- serve in pasta bowl, adding the grated cheese and 1-2 Tbs. of a fruity Sicilian olive oil
The wine was a 2012 Ancarani Centisimino, from Jan D’Amore’s marvelous portfolio. The earthiness and warm fruit were a superb complement for the onion-mushroom-bean sauce. By the end of the meal, I was smiling again, so I called Jan to thank him and at least share the photos with him.
Best of all, I was invigorated enough to schedule a 1/2 hour with a very effective Apple representative (very much better than the one I spoke to in the afternoon), and we solved my iTunes problem. Thank you, James.