Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pappardelle With Shrimp and Mushrooms: Cooking Class, Part 2

When my friends and I took a cooking class at a local Italian restaurant almost a month ago, my intentions to recreate some of the courses was high on my 'to-do' list. Truthfully though, these entrees are 'company' material and we just haven't had any visitors recently. A week or two ago I shared our appetizer which was Crostini Polenta. The next course was homemade pappardelle with porcini and shiitake mushrooms and grilled shrimp: truly a delicious offering. 

Pappardelle is a wide, thick noodle derived from the verb “pappare,” to gobble up. This traditional noodle is a cousin to the smaller tagliatelle and is so popular that in Italy there are towns that have festivals honoring it. 

The chef made homemade pappardelle which took a good portion of the class but unless you are adept at pasta-making, I recommend purchasing an imported commercial pappardelle perhaps in an Italian salumeria. The rest of the dish is fairly quick and easy and you'll be in for a gastronomic treat should you choose to try making this.

Fresh porcini and shiitake mushrooms (remove stems) were used but dried will work as well. The mushrooms will ultimately be topped with grilled shrimp (still in the shell but easily removed. The chef pointed out that the extra work involved in removing the shell is worth it because it saves the shrimp from shrinking, something I didn't know!

(For six people)
1 pound pappardelle
12 jumbo shrimp, cleaned and deveined
5 cloves garlic, chopped finely
6 fresh porcini mushrooms or 2 packets dried porchini
6 fresh shiitake mushrooms
1 cup dry white wine
I teaspoon marjoram
fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

  • Slice mushrooms thinly
  • Chop garlic and toss lightly in fry pan on with 3 tablespoons olive oil, medium heat.
  • Add mushrooms and salt and pepper
  • Add wine and fresh chopped parsley.
  • If you used dried porcini mushrooms add juice from hydration.
  • For Shrimp:
  • Add a tablespoon of chopped garlic into 2 tablespoons olive oil, medium heat.
  • Add 1 tablespoon marjoram
  • Add salt and pepper and more olive oil if needed
  • Butterfly shrimp, retaining shell.
  • Place face down in frying pan and cook until pink.
When pasta is cooked al dente, add mushroom mixture to top of portion, then two shrimp per plate.
Top with shaved  Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

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