A week ago, this river, jammed with ice and swollen by a massive rain and snow storm, burst its banks. The muddy-looking chunks toward the left are actually the leftover pieces of some of the enormous ice pans that clogged the river.
The river is still unusually high, but no longer a threatening behemoth.
The Butchart Gardens is a group of floral display gardens located near Victoria on Vancouver Island. These gardens, which were originally the site of a large quarry, receive over a million visitors each year and have been designated as a national historic site.
My nephew has worked amid these gorgeous gardens for many years, and he occasionally sends me a photo or two.
This recipe is in metric, but I’ve done some imperial conversions that I hope work out. It’s really easy and you can play around with the amounts (more mushrooms!) to your taste. If you would like, you can also add chicken. I don’t always have mascarpone on hand so it’s sometimes left out, and if you’re watching calories, that will help, but the result will be less creamy. I compensate by adding a bit more of the pasta cooking water to make a light sauce. Also, if you’re watching your salt intake, you will need to leave it out of the pasta cooking water.
– 450 grams (2 cups) pasta, whatever kind you like. I like spaghettini best.
– 30 ml (2 tbsp) olive oil
-2 chopped shallots
– 1 clove minced garlic
-450 g (2 cups) sliced fresh mushrooms, any kind you like or a mixture. In a pinch I’ve used dried ones, but you will need to increase slightly the amount of stock and wine.
-120 ml (half a cup) white wine (the same kind you’re going to have with the pasta)
-120 ml (half a cup) vegetable stock (you can also use chicken stock)
-200 ml (1 cup) mascarpone
In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil and add the pasta; cook for about 10 mins. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, heat the oil and the shallots and garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes. Add the mushrooms and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Use a pan large enough to avoid crowding the mushrooms (this step is really important so that they don’t become soggy). Cook for about 6-7 mins. Turn the heat up and add the wine; cook until it has completely evaporated and the pan is de-glazed. Then add the stock until it reduces to a sauce-like consistency.
Remove the pan from the heat. Add the mascarpone cheese. Stir until it becomes creamy. Drain the pasta, reserving about 200 ml (1 cup) of the pasta water, and transfer to a serving bowl. Add the mushroom mixture and the parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste if desired. Toss well to coat the pasta, adding the reserved pasta water, if needed, to loosen the pasta. Garnish with the chopped parsley and lots of parmesan. Serve immediately and enjoy with a glass of wine.
Kayak2016 and Vanessence, I hope this recipe turns out well for you. Cheers!