We haven’t had much success growing broccoli, so when it shows up at the farmers’ market I buy as much as I can. It becomes especially sweet with cooler weather, and I’m usually content with a simple plate of it steamed, and dressed with some salt and really good olive oil. However, with masses of it, along with some oyster mushrooms and red wine pappardelle already on hand, how could I resist trying out something called “Crunchy Pappardelle”?
I discovered this recipe while working my way through Yotam Ottolenghi’s second cookbook, Plenty. There’s something about having a shared sense of taste, and this is one of those rare cookbooks where after trying just one recipe, I knew I could trust the rest. The recipes in Plenty are deceptive; they’re uncomplicated yet full of unexpected combinations. The fact that all of the ingredients, save for the olive oil, wine and black pepper, came from local sources is an added delight.
Crunchy Pappardelle with Broccoli and Mushrooms
1/2 pound broccoli
1/2 pound oyster mushrooms, torn into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup white wine
1 bay leaf
3 thyme sprigs, leaves picked and chopped
1 cup cream
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
12 ounces fresh pappardelle (9 ounces dried)
– Separate any leaves from the broccoli, and cut stalks and florets into two to three inch-long pieces. If the stalks are thick, cut along the center. Blanch stalks, florets, and leaves in boiling salted water for two minutes and drain.
– In a large saucepan, sauté the mushrooms in the hot oil until they start taking on color. Add the wine, bay leaf, and thyme, reduce to a third, then add the cream. Season to taste and keep warm.
– Mix together the lemon zest, garlic and parsley. In a hot pan, toast the breadcrumbs until golden, stirring occasionally.
– Cook the pappardelle in salted water. When just ready, add the broccoli to the cream sauce to reheat. Drain the pasta and mix with the sauce and half the parsley mix. To serve, mix the rest of the parsley with the breadcrumbs and garnish generously.
Local ingredients: Broccoli from Meadow’s Mirth, blue oyster mushrooms from Pawtuckaway Mushrooms, and red wine pappardelle from the pasta wizards at Valicenti Organico. We have small bay and lemon trees growing indoors, the plants sourced from the wonderful folks at Wentworth Greenhouses. The original recipe calls for Panko, but homemade breadcrumbs are a pantry staple for us and do just as well.
Recipe adapted from “Plenty” by Yotam Ottolenghi.