Simple Pasta Pleasures

Trattoria Da Luigi’s Steve Siekierzynski takes on an Italian classic
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When proprietor Luigi Cutraro of Trattoria Da Luigi sent his executive chef, Steve Siekierzynski, to his hometown in Sicily, San Vito lo Capo, to study the local cuisine, the chef returned saying the most important thing he learned there was “keep it simple.” And this recipe illustrates that nicely. The classic pasta dish is on the list of primi piatti (first course) at the rustic Royal Oak restaurant. “Its uniqueness stems from the fact that pappardelle is generally a pasta used with a meat ragu or Bolognese sauce. Using mushrooms as the ‘meat’ in this dish keeps it on the lighter side even with the use of heavy whipping cream,” Siekierzynski says. “The use of mushrooms as meat also allows the dish to be a viable vegetarian option, too. While we use cremini mushrooms at the restaurant, any kind of mushroom will do the job.” —Molly Abraham

Pappardelle with Marsala and Mushrooms (serves 2)

Ingredients

⅛ cup oil
1 ½ cups cremini mushrooms, sliced
½ cup Marsala wine 
½ cup heavy whipping cream 
10 ounces pappardelle pasta 
Kosher salt to taste
1 teaspoon butter
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, ground

 

Directions

Allow sauté pan to get hot. Pour oil into pan and allow oil to get hot. Add mushrooms and cook until golden brown. Deglaze pan with Marsala wine and add the heavy cream. Bring to a boil. In a separate pot of boiling salted water, drop in the pasta. It should take about 4-5 minutes to cook. Back to the pan: While the cream/Marsala mixture is boiling, add the salt, butter, and Parmesan. Stir well and turn down to a simmer. When the pasta is done, drain the water and add the pasta to the sauce. Toss together and place it into a bowl.

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