Welcome to the new and improved Carano's Cucina. I make a lot of kick ass food and go out to some amazing restaurants. Take a look around and make yourself at home :)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Quick and Easy Peasy

This really is one of my simplest dishes but quick and easy does not have to mean bland or boring. It's chock full of flavor and aroma and you can make it in less than 30 minutes. In fact, get your pasta water boiling because by the time the pasta is done, the sauce is done. You can use any pasta... long, short, round, whatever you like.

In a large skillet heat up about three Tablespoons of olive oil (extra virgin please) and add three to four cloves of garlic chopped. Do NOT let the garlic brown, so before that happens, add a whole lot of sliced mushrooms. The day I made it, I had the smaller container of whole mushrooms and sliced them myself. If you buy pre-sliced, buy them at the last possible minute because they go bad much quicker.

It looks like a lot of mushrooms, but they cook down considerably. Most likely the mushrooms will soak up whatever oil you have in the pan so I like to add a splash of white wine. You don't have to do this if you don't cook with wine, but it does add that somethin somethin to the dish. If it's too dry, add a little stock or you can go straight to the tomatoes.

One can of fire roasted diced tomatoes, juice and all. When I first started making this dish, Muir Glen was the only brand that made fire roasted tomatoes. Today there are more, but I still use only Muir Glen for this.

Simmer for a few minutes and let the juice reduce some. You don't want all the juice to reduce out or you'll have very dry pasta. But just simmer it about 10 minutes so the juices thicken up a little. By this time your pasta should be in the boiling salted water and on it's way to al dente.

While the sauce is simmering you can add whatever you like ... salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, basil, Italian seasoning...whatever you have on hand and like. Although I think if you are adding red pepper flakes that you should add them to the oil and garlic. I don't use them myself, but I think that is what most people do to bring out their flavor and heat.

Once the pasta is done, drain it and then if your skillet is big enough, pour it right into the skillet with the sauce and toss. If not, you can put it in a bowl or whatever and toss. Add some Parmesan cheese to the top or our favorite, Pecorino Romano.

Like I said, easy peasy and delish!

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