12.12.09: dinner (the battle over ricotta cheese)

Papperadelle with Sauteed Mushrooms and Ricotta Cheese

A few weeks ago, Michael started in his recent kick of craving pasta with some kind of sauce with this dish.  He knew he wanted to do either a tomato or a mushroom sauce for fresh pasta, and remembering how delicious my plate of fresh fettuccine and mushrooms at Pisticci was a few months ago, I cast my vote for the little fungi.  What he didn’t know at the time, though, was that I wanted to mix in some fresh ricotta into the pasta as well–and thus sparked a debate in Whole Foods on the virtues of ricotta versus mascarpone cheese.

We’ve used both in the past to mix in with delicate fresh pasta, and both are delicious, but I was really feeling Team Ricotta this time around, and eventually, I won over the husband–though I know that the next time around we will be buying a tub of mascarpone from Vermont Butter and Cheese…ah, compromise.

Making this dish is very, very easy to do:  thinly slice a mixture of mushrooms (here we used 8 ounces of cremini and shiitake mushrooms), and saute them in a pan with a few tablespoons of butter and olive oil for about 10 minutes or so.  Deglaze with some red wine, and let the mixture cook down more, stirring occasionally, for another ten-fifteen minutes until the mushroom mixture has cooked down some more.  Mix in a half cup of ricotta cheese with the mushrooms, and then add in cooked fresh pasta (either store-bought or homemade), and toss with the mushrooms and serve.

Buon apetito!  We’re back from our holiday break and we have some amazing meals to share with you over the next few weeks…stay tuned!

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