Welcome to Little Miss Cookalot

I love to cook and try new dishes, and more often than not I am asked for the recipe, so I decided to start Little Miss Cookalot as a way of sharing my successes, and failures in the kitchen. The recipes that you find on LMC are what you would find if you came to my house. As a mother of two, there is a focus on food for fussy eaters and you may also notice I like to bake... Most recipes here are amended from well known chefs/cookbook authors, and you will find the source at the bottom of each recipe unless its entirely my own creation. Check back regularly as I hope to add at least 2 new recipes every week.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Standby Mushroom Pasta

20g dried porcini mushrooms (I used button however)
200g spaghetti
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
2 cloves crushed garlic
1T fresh thyme leaves
1C fresh breadcrumbs (large chunks of fresh bread to make croutons)
sea salt and cracked black pepper
finely grated parmesan and olive oil to serve

Place the porcini in a bowl , cover with boiling water and set aside (instead I marinated sliced mushroom in lemon juice and garlic).  Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water.  Drain and keep warm.  Place a pan  on heat.  Add the oil, garlic, thyme and cook for 2 mins.  Drain the porcini and roughly chop.  Add the porcini/mushroom to the pan with the breadcrumbs and cook, stirring for 4 mins or until crumbs are golden and crunchy.  Add the pasta to the pan with salt and pepper and toss to coat.  Divide between to serving plates and sprinkle with parmesan and olive oil.

I happened to see Donna Hay cook this on TV, and as I had button mushrooms to try and use up, decided to make it that night.  On the TV she said to use lots of olive oil ('more than you would think' she said), as it helps to make the breadcrumbs really crunchy.  So I used as much as her, and made sure it was hot.   My breadcrumbs did not crunch up, and instead just tasted really soggy and oily, which spoilt the whole dish.   So we were not that impressed with the dish.   But I would make it again, and perhaps dry roast the bread in the oven first to make crunchy croutons (and more healthy), and toss them in the oil briefly with the other flavours just prior to serving.

Source:  Donna Hay, Fast, Fresh, Simple

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have made this a few times (there is a Jamie Oliver version too) and the trick to stop the breadcrumbs going soggy is to cook them for a longer than you think, and a bit higher temp. They do go crispy and is v yummy.. The other thing I have found is to use the sliced dried porcini mushrooms, not the whole ones. I don't soak them, and they retain their crisp and grind up quite finely. The wholes ones don't come out as fine.
This also works as a topping for any of your fav pasta dishes.