This time of year, I always feel like I am just gasping for air, struggling to stay caught up, and trying to remember where I’m supposed to be and when. And if you have kids, whew…I don’t, but I remember being one and this time of year was even crazier back then with all of the end of the school year stuff.
Somewhere in there, between the string of weddings and graduations and band concerts, you’ve got to find time to eat. Just because we’re all busy doesn’t mean we want to compromise on flavor or trade a satisfying meal for garbage picked up in a drive-through. Pasta dishes like this one are perfect endings to crazy days. The orecchiette is dressed with a touch of Mascarpone so it feels a bit indulgent and completely comforting. Nearly every piece of orecchiette cups a pea and there are plenty of sautéed mushrooms to keep that feeling of indulgence from transforming to guilt. Best part? It’s ready in the amount of time it takes to boil the pasta. Nice.
Ready? Take a quick break from your busy life and let’s make dinner.
Boil water and drop the pasta, we’ll make the sauce in the 10-ish minutes it’ll take to cook. Slice the mushrooms and a shallot and get ’em into a hot skillet. Sauté them for a few minutes until your kitchen smells all earthy and mushroomy and your stomach starts to rumble. Add a bunch of peas to the pan, stir them around for a minute or so. Check the orecchiette…it’s done. Add it to the veggies along with a bit of the pasta water to help make things “saucy”. Remove from the heat and stir in a few spoonfuls of Mascarpone, plenty of black pepper, and a handful of chopped chives.
Dinner is served. Take a couple of minutes out of your busy day/week/month, chill out, and enjoy.
- ½# Orecchiette Pasta (or shells)
- 4 oz. Shiitake Mushrooms, sliced
- 1 medium Shallot, sliced
- ¼ c. White Wine or Chicken or Vegetable Stock (optional)
- 1 c. Frozen Peas, thawed
- ¼ c. Mascarpone Cheese
- about 2 Tbsp. chopped Chives
- Boil the pasta in salted water until al dente, about 11 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat about 1 Tbsp. of olive oil in a wide skillet. Add the mushrooms and shallots and sauté until the shallots soften and the mushrooms are golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Season lightly and add the white wine or stock (or just a little of the pasta water) and scrap up any bits of mushroom that might be stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the peas and cook about 1 minutes.
- When the pasta is ready, use a slotted spoon to pull it out of the water. Transfer it directly to the mushroom and pea mixture. Add a little pasta water, as necessary, to allow the pasta to move freely and easily around the pan. Allow to cook together for a minute or so to let the pasta absorb the good mushroomy flavor. Remove from heat. Stir in the Mascarpone and chives. Season with salt, as needed, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.
A big part of why I’ve felt so frantic lately is because I’ve been busy getting all my ducks in a row before I head out of town for a couple weeks. By the time you read this, I’ll be in Croatia. Check-in while I’m gone–there are a few recipes in the queue set to auto-publish (including an incredible sweet & sour rhubarb sauce to serve with grilled
pork chops anything). When I get back, I’ll have pictures, stories, and new cooking inspiration to share. In the meantime, hope your summer gets off to a great start!