|Creamy Farfalle with Cremini, Aparagus, and Walnuts|
This is one of my favorite pasta dishes that I've been making for several years. One of my old co-workers (who is one of the best cooks and one of my favorite people in the world) suggested Giada's Family Dinners to me. This pasta was the first recipe that I tried in this cookbook because it sounded so different and interesting. I was a little apprehensive about the walnuts (not my favorite) and the nutmeg (don't like a lot of it), but I think they complement the other ingredients perfectly.
I've seen many reviews on other sites saying that this recipe is bland, but I think it could very possibly be that the dish wasn't seasoned enough. You really have to season it well with salt and pepper. Keep tasting and seasoning until you get the right seasoning for your palate.
This is definitely a pasta that you can play with the flavors... add ingredients you like, take out some you don't like, maybe adding a little protein would be good too. This last time, I decided to add about a teaspoon of truffle oil to the pasta to add an extra oompf to it. I liked the flavor that it added, but if you don't want to add it or you don't like truffle oil, the pasta is still very good without it. I'll eat it either way. :-) In the past, I've also added toasted pinon (pine nuts) in lieu of the walnuts and that came out good as well.
Another thing to note is that this makes A LOT of pasta! The book says it serves four, but it's four very large servings. So I'd say it makes between 4-6 servings.
|My weekend lunch!|
|Close-up the asparagus and walnuts|
|Served with a New Mexican wine.|
Creamy Farfalle with Cremini, Aparagus, and Walnuts
Slightly adapted from Giada de Laurentiis (Giada's Family Dinners)
1 lb farfalle pasta
3 Tbs butter
1 lb cremini mushrooms, thickly sliced (button mushrooms also work well in this recipe)
1 lb asparagus, trimmed, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
1 c. mascarpone cheese (8 oz. container)
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 c. walnuts, toasted
1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan
1 tsp truffle oil (optional)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the farfalle and cook until al dente, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and saute until tender and most of the juices have evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the asparagus and saute until the asparagus is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add the farfalle. Stir in the mascarpone and nutmeg and toss until the cheese coats the pasta, adding the reserved cooking liquid 1/4 cup at a time to moisten. Stir in 1/2 cup of walnuts. Add in truffle oil, if using. Season the pasta, to taste, with salt and pepper. (This pasta needs a lot of salt to flavor it, so be very liberal with it!) Mound the pasta in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and remaining 1/4 cup of walnuts. Serve.