Hello there Sweetsonian readers! Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Kaeli and I had the pleasure of meeting Sarah a couple of weeks ago when she was visiting a fellow friend in NYC. It isn’t a surprise that this get together was centered on delicious food and drink, and Sarah and I hit it off talking about our favorite food blogs and cooking techniques. I was absolutely thrilled when she invited me to guest blog for her and I hope you’ll enjoy cooking up this simple, seasonal recipe sometime soon.
One of my New Years Resolutions is to try to buy local food whenever possible. It all started when I moved to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, this past summer and quickly discovered an amazing green market just blocks from my apartment. All summer, I bought fresh yellow squashes, zucchinis, tomatoes, eggplants and cheeses from different vendors, but as the seasons began to shift, I stopped going, thinking that with the end of summer came the end of tasty local produce. Boy, was I wrong.
I recently watched a movie called Ingredients on Netflix, and I highly recommend it. The film champions the benefits of shopping locally and eating seasonal produce instead of buying all of your food from giant grocery stores that ship products worldwide. By purchasing food from local farms, you are getting the freshest food with the most nutrients, helping the environment by saving vast amounts of energy used to ship food long distances, and putting money directly into the hands of farmers rather than having it trickle down through the economic system.
Not only do I think are these are positive messages for a better world, it’s been my experience that this just gets you the freshest, tastiest food. Period.
Buoyed by my new wealth of knowledge (including learning that lots of my favorite produce is grown in the winter months) I trotted back to my local green market and was delighted to discover a vast array of delicacies grown by New York farmers. Vendors were offering things like parsnips, countless potato varietals, homemade pastas, whole grains, onions, apples, winter squashes, mushrooms, carrots, etc. I purchased about as much as I could carry and decided I would whip up something inspired by some of my (many) purchases.
For this meal, I decided to feature my mouth watering pasta purchase, Bourbon Barrel Smoked Cracked Pepper Pappardelle made in Roscoe, NY by Cayuga Pure Organics, with brussel sprouts and mushrooms. Of course, any pasta would do, but I couldn’t resist the hearty, crinkly strands of this rye wheat papparadelle. The mushroom vendor recommended some very intimidating looking maitake mushrooms, but he promised me that they would be easy to prepare by cutting the large anemone shaped bunch into small 1-2 inch pieces and sautéing them with a little olive oil. Roasting is my prefered method of cooking brussel sprouts because it gets them nice and crispy, and then I just topped off the whole dish with some freshly grated parmesan cheese for a little extra flavor. This meal is so simple and tasty, and really allows each ingredient to shine.
Papparadelle with Sauteed Maitake Mushrooms and Roasted Brussel Sprouts
1 pound of whole wheat papparadelle pasta
2 cups brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved
2 cups maitake mushrooms, cut into 1-2 inch sized pieces
1/4 yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons water
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line a baking sheet with tin foil. Toss halved brussel sprouts in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Place seasoned brussel sprouts on the baking sheet so that they do not overlap (this will help them get extra crispy). Place the tray in the oven and cook for about 20-25 minutes or until slightly browned and crispy. Use a spatula to flip them about halfway through the roasting process.
Meanwhile, cook pasta as directed. Drain, return to the cooking pot and toss with a bit of olive oil so it doesn’t stick together.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onions and garlic, and cook for 2-3 minutes or until translucent. Stir and watch closely so the garlic doesn’t burn. Then add the mushrooms to the onions and continue to occasionally stir and sauté for about 5 more minutes or until mushrooms have released their liquid and softened. I added about 2 tablespoons of water halfway through to help moisten the mushrooms and create more of a sauce. Season with salt and pepper while cooking.
Add the roasted brussel sprouts to the cooked mushrooms, and heat and toss over low heat for about 1-2 minutes. Then mix the vegetables and pasta together in the pot used to cook the pasta. Plate servings and top with a generous amount freshly grated parmesan.
Makes about 4 main course servings.
Note: I never measure exactly (it’s so constraining!) so feel free to slightly adjust measurements slightly to suit your tastes.