lunes, 31 de marzo de 2014

Mascarpone and Marsala spaghetti (freely inspired by Nigella Lawson)

Today we'll bring you a delicious pasta recipe!

To start April at best, we will show you our own take on a recipe by the great chef Nigella Lawson we found in her last book, "Nigellissima", about italian-inspired recipes.
We changed a little bit here, a little bit there, and here you are our own version, shared with you!

We informally call it "pasta mmm!", and that's not just because it it just sooo yummy, but also because of the three Ms that are the main ingredients for this recipe: Marsala sweet wine, Mascarpone cheese and Mushrooms.

Even Nigella Lawson loves our version of her recipe!

Marsala is a delicious sweet wine from Sicily, often used in southern italian cuisine, that really deserves to be rediscovered. Mascarpone is the creamy cheese from Lombardy northern region, quite famous because it is a key ingredient for Tiramisù...and mushrooms...well...we all know them because of Super Mario he he!

You can use many types of pasta, for example today we've used the classical spaghetti, a sure win, and specifically we choose our favourites: the spaghetti from Garofalo, created in Gragnano, near Naples.

Ingredients: (for two people)                                                    
  • 4 or 5 fresh button mushrooms                           
  • 60 ml. of Marsala wine
  • 60 ml. of water
  • 125 g. of mascarpone cheese
  • Salt for the water
  • 250 g. of pasta*
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Parmigiano cheese ( or Grana Padano)
  • nutmeg
  • Black pepper
  • Parsley
  • half spoon of olive oil

* This recipe originally was specifically made for fettuccine pasta in Nigella Lawson's book, but you can also do it with bucatini or spaghetti, and it will just taste as good, but be careful, because in italian cuisine "different shapes creates different tastes" and not every kind of pasta deals well with every kind of sauce!


1º- Wash and cut your mushrooms, in my case I laminated them. Put them on heat in a pot with water and Marsala wine. Let it reach boiling temperature and then turn off the heat and keep it aside, without removing the mushrooms from the Marsala, in order to get more flavour.

2º- Put the water on heat to prepare your pasta. Do not add the salt until the water is boiling, otherwise the water will take longer to boil.

3º- Put your mascarpone cheese in a bowl, along with black pepper and nutmeg, according to your taste. It will taste better if the spices are zested at the moment. Add the mushrooms and the mix composed by water and Marsala, and stir it well.
4º- Pour a drizzle of olive oil in your pan, add the minced garlic and let it cook until it golden brown, but be careful not to burn it. Add then your sauce of mascarpone and Marsala, and let it all boil (it will not not take longer than some two or three minutes). Add parsley according your taste.

5º- When your pasta will be al dente, take out of the pot your spaghetti and put them in the pan with the sauce you've prepared. If you want you sauce to be more liquid or less dense, you can add a glass of the cooking water from the pot where spaghetti has been cooked. In this way it will just taste better!

6º- Serve it all dividing the spaghetti (or the fettuccine) in two dishes, adding a lot of parmigiano cheese above your pasta and, if you want, another little bit of minced parsley it all!

If you can't find mascarpone cheese, you can eventually change it for Philadelphia creamy cheese, and you could change the Marsala, not yet so well distributed, with Oporto or Jerez sweet wine. But in this case, it will not quite taste the same!

Buon appetito!

 Greetings and have a wonderful April!


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