Feb 26, 2013

Mushroom Ham Cream Sauce

So in keeping with my new goal of sauce education, here is another cream based sauce from Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, with some tweaking by yours truly. I wanted to try this recipe because I was intent on proving to Jeffrey that mushrooms can taste amazingly good.  

  • ¾ pounds fresh cremini mushrooms
  • 4 tablespoons butter (as before, I insist on real butter, preferably European)
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 6 ounces ham, either roasted or smoked, cut into very narrow strips
  • 6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

For tossing the pasta, set aside:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
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Slice off the ends of the cremini mushrooms. If you are going to wash the mushrooms, do so very, very quickly under running water and pat dry with a towel. Some people prefer not to wash mushrooms at all, as they tend to liquefy if exposed to water for too long. If you would rather avoid washing, rub the dirt off of the mushrooms with a paper towel.  Dice the mushrooms and set aside.

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Slice ham into thin strips, set aside.

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Preheat a skillet that has ample room for the mushrooms. Add butter and when melted, add diced shallot and sauté over medium heat until shallot turns a delicious golden brown.

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Add mushrooms.When the mushrooms release their liquid after about a minute or so, turn the heat up to high to burn the liquid off.

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With most of the liquid burned off, turn the heat back down to medium and add sliced ham. Cook for a few minutes, flavoring with salt and pepper to taste. When sauce is slightly thickened, turn off heat and set sauce aside.

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Prepare pasta, either fresh or store bought. Fettuccine works best, but rigatoni or penne would be suitable as well. About three minutes before the pasta is ready to drain (cook to an al dente consistency), begin reheating the sauce on a low heat.

Drain pasta. Throw 2 tablespoons butter into empty pot, leave burner on low heat. Replace pasta, top with sauce. Add another 6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream and ½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano. Toss, toss, and toss again until pasta is well covered and consistent. Enjoy.

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About
Basics:

Languages: English and German
Degrees: BA & MA in German Language and Literature
Attitude: Arrogant, curious, hungry, thoughtful, critical
Passions: German, film, theater, food, philosophy, literature
Location: Albany, NY
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Director: Stanley Kubrik/Fritz Lang - don't make me choose
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