Whenever I go to Borough Market in London, I feel like a little kid going round the stalls as I just want to buy EVERYTHING. The trouble is, it’s so expensive that I know I have to be sensible. When we last went there I was working so didn’t have loads of time to look around until late afternoon so I missed out on some of the good produce. We did however manage to get some lovely mackerel and a tray of exotic mushrooms. My boyfriend was in charge of doing something with the mackerel as I cook so much fish at work, I can’t stand cooking it at home! But I wanted to do something new with the mushrooms. I was going to do a risotto, but quite frankly, I couldn’t be bothered to stand there stirring it for ages as I just wanted something quick and tasty.
Lately, I have been really into pasta. I think it’s so versatile and you can make the most delicious sauces to go with it. Another bonus of having pasta is that it can be a meat-free meal. This not only means it’s cheaper, but I also think it’s good to evolve as a chef and try veggie meals that are outside the realms of the usual ‘go-to’ dishes for vegetarians. Cheese based sauces can become quite rich and stodgy, but I don’t use flour in my sauce so this doesn’t happen. The use of chilli and lemon also cuts through the richness, as well as the earthiness of the mushrooms. My boyfriend found this really delicious and was one of his favourite pasta dishes that I have done so far!
Prep time: 10 minutes.
Cooking time: 35 minutes.
- A mix of exotic mushrooms – I had about 300g in total.
- 1 brown onion finely diced.
- 2 cloves of garlic finely crushed.
- 1 red chilli diced.
- 1 tbsp lazy chilli – I only added extra as I like my food quite spicy!
- A handful of tarragon finely chopped.
- 180 ml white wine.
- Freshly grated parmesan – as much or as little as you like. I use a lot as I’m a parmesan eating monster!
- 200g gorgonzola.
- 100g grated cheddar.
- 250ml double cream.
- Salt and pepper.
- 100g pasta per person.
- 1 lemon – zest and juice.
- Large knob of butter.
- Heat the butter in a large pan. Add the onion, garlic and chilli. Fry on a gentle heat for 5 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and tarragon to the vegetables in the pan and cook for a further 10 minutes on a medium heat.
- Add the lemon zest and juice and season well with salt and pepper. Don’t use too much salt as the cheese will add saltiness to the sauce.
- Pour in the wine and turn the heat up high. Cook until the wine has reduced by 3/4.
- In the meantime, put some water on to boil for the pasta. Fresh pasta is best to use as it only takes 4 minutes to cook and the sauce clings to it better.
- When the wine has reduced enough, add the cheese and turn the heat right down. Stir until it has all melted. Don’t leave it unattended otherwise the cheese will stick to the bottom and burn.
- Once the water has boiled, add the pasta and cook.
- Add the cream to the sauce and take off the heat.
- Once the pasta is cooked, drain it, then add to the sauce and stir through.
- Garnish with grated parmesan and serve.