So on my first trip to Italy with the lovely Carol (Hi Carol) we spent a few days on a gloriously kid-free tour of Milan and Florence. Well, take a seat my children, let me tell you the wonders, the genius that made… The food. Oh the food. The upcoming recipe is particularly good and particularly quick and easy!
I remember very well a place in Florence, found after we walked across that bridge (you know the one with the shops) in the 40something degree heat. Well we got rather exhausted and took a left as soon as we were across it, looking for some sort of sitting down apparatus. And then the light shone down upon a place, a magical place.. Actually that doesn’t say much, the light was shining, beating down bleedin’ everywhere. But somehow or other we came across a restaurant that boasted shade, decently priced food and real cloth tablecloths. As if that weren’t enough, the even had chairs! Well you cannot go wrong there can you! Pretty sure I wasn’t hungry at the time but when in Italy in presence of italian food? Well you just eat. I had some sort of ravioli and they were unbelievably good.
Now, getting to the point. Nowhere did we come across a similar restaurant of excellence in Milan that wasn’t well outside the auld budget, but we did come across a rather lovely cafe that seemed to be choc-a-bloc with Italian (Eye-talian as my granny says) regulars. We were sold. If I recall, that time we were hungry. Famished in fact. Well we went in and looked at a large selection of pasta salads etc behind a glass pane, and after drooling for a minute or two (they’re well used to it, if I remember correctly they had hired a man with a cloth to stand by and wipe the glass clean after all the foreigners left, giving you an understanding glance that let you know that the whole process was appreciated in a roundabout way!) we chose our poison. I picked out a linguine with a mushroom, courgette, and parmesan kind of mix sauce shenanigans. Basically it was pretty much carbonara with mushroom and courgette in the place of bacon. And let me tell you it was good!
So here is how you make it. Recreated in the disappointingly unitalian but getting there kitchen of Sarah. Yup. Oh and I don’t recommend this for pregnant women, kids, the elderly or people with immune problems because it has lightly cooked egg in it, and just in case, I would like to be on the safe side!
Mushroom and Courgette Pasta
- 100g shitake mushrooms
- 200g fresh field mushrooms
- 100g chestnut mushrooms
- Ok you can use any mushrooms but I like this mix. Also I go heavy on the mushrooms, change if you wish!
- 1 courgette, diced up into nice pieces
- 1 well minced clove of garlic
- Linguine enough for 4 people! I shall leave it up to you to decide what you consider enough.
- 1-2 eggs
- 1/4 cup of grated parmesan. That is fresh parmesan that has been grated, not that powdery rubbish.
- Put linguine on to cook in a pot of lightly salted boiling water.
- Beat the egg(s) well (2small or one large) and set aside. Leave cheese at hand too!
- In the meantime: Clean and chop up the mushrooms, courgette and garlic. Fry in olive oil over a medium heat until just cooked enough. You may want to start with the courgette and then then mushrooms so that one isn’t overdone!
- Cook the pasta until just al dente. Now, move fast here, you want to keep the pasta hot enough to cook the egg without putting it on the heat.
- Drain pasta, but then pop the pasta back into the saucepan, add the mushroom courgette mix.
- Add in the cheese and stir it around to mix everything up.
- Add in the egg mix. The pasta should still be hot enough to cook the egg and make it all safe!
- Serve immediately. Preferably with a nice chunk of garlic bread and a side salad drizzled with a good balsamic vinegar!
Now you may experience Milano in your own home. I know, I know, I accept thanks in the form of chocolate, send it to Sarah’s house, Sarah’s lane, Sarah’s town, Ireland. Thank you.