Marsala Fettuccine

Spring has sprung and there is nothing more springy to me than fresh mushrooms.  I actually used to refuse to eat mushrooms as a kid as I was absolutely convinced beyond all reasoning that they were "dirty" because I heard the Frugal Gourmet say they were fungus.  That was it for me.

One Sunday, I was at my father's for dinner in my mid-twenties and he grilled up these beautiful porterhouse steaks.  He had sauteed some local white button mushrooms with some garlic and olive oil on the side.  My father demanded that I at least TRY a mushroom with my steak and if I truly did not like it, he would never bring it up again.  I should note that my father is NOT a man you say no to.

I closed my eyes and I cut a piece of that beautiful medium rare steak and shoved my fork through a mushroom and put both in my mouth at the same time.  Needless to say, my life changed and now I am a mushroom advocate.  Not really, but I do adore mushrooms in any variety.  So, thanks Dad.

There is simply nothing more comforting than a bowl of creamy pasta and some woodsy mushrooms.  A buttery marsala reduction makes this the perfect pasta dish.  Don't be afraid to go heavy on the black pepper with this recipe, it really pops.  This dish will have you rolling your eyes back in your head with delight.  The best part is that it could not be more simple!  Try it out, you'll be a dinner hero.

 Marsala Fettuccine














Ingredients

1 lb fettuccine
2-3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
2 shallots finely minced
3 cloves minced garlic
8 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced
4 TBSP butter
2 cups marsala wine
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 TBSP kosher salt
1 tsp coarse black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup parmigiana cheese
chopped fresh basil for garnish

Method

Fill a large pasta pot with water, place the lid on and put on high heat to bring to a boil.  

While the water is heating up, grab a large saute pan big enough to hold the cooked pasta.  Place over a medium high flame and add the extra virgin olive oil, minced shallots and garlic.  Cook until translucent.  

Add the sliced mushrooms and fresh thyme and saute until tender.  

Drop in butter and work it through the mushroom mixture.  Add 1 cup of marsala wine and allow to reduce by half.  Season with salt and pepper and add heavy cream.  Turn heat down to low and allow the sauce to simmer gently.  Taste for seasoning.

Add a generous amount of sea salt to the boiling water and drop in the fettuccine.  Cook until pasta is al dente.  

Drain pasta reserving 1 cup of pasta water.  Dump the fettuccine directly into the sauce and toss to coat.  Add a little pasta water to thin out the sauce if you need to.  Discard any leftover pasta water. 

Remove pan from heat and toss in the grated cheese.  Top with some freshly chopped basil and thyme sprigs.

Enjoy! As always, get your asses in the kitchen!  

Krissi Biasiello is a native of South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Cooking since she was a little girl with her large Italian family, she decided to leave her paralegal job and shoot for the stars on FOX’s cooking competition show, MasterChef.  She beat out 43,000 homecooks across America and came in 4th place.  Under the scrutiny of Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot and Joe Bastianich, Krissi has made her mark in the culinary world.  She now shares her recipes with all of you!  Her rustic, homestyle take on everything will win you over and will definitely “get your asses in the kitchen”.

To contact Krissi for appearances, in-home demonstrations, catering and more, you can find her below. 

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