I don’t know about you, but the end of summer has seriously crept up on me and I have not cooked NEARLY enough farm market meals. There are so many dishes I still have to make… I feel like a college student trying to cram a semester’s worth of studying into a few days before a final!
On the hottest day of summer, we thought it would be a good idea to go to the West Windsor Farmers Market (one of my favorites – hometown represent). It was 9am in the morning… how hot could it be? The instant we got out of the car we were soaked (thank you New Jersey humidity!) and all I could focus on was how insanely hot it was. Not my finest moment for planning weekend adventures, but it sure did lead to some fast-action decision-making!
Two of those “just make a decision its too hot for us to contemplate” decisions turned into an amazing meal and the opportunity for me to try offerings from a vendor I was not familiar with: LoRe Pasta.
LoRe produces their pasta with products from local farms and mills (including Castle Valley Mills!) The local flour they use is ground fresh to order for them in order to maintain health nutrients. Their vibrant NJ Spinach Linguine instantly drew me in – you could tell it was recently extruded.
In order to let the pasta shine, I decided to do a simple “mushroom sauce” with it. And you know there are no better mushrooms in the area than Shibumi’s! The nice thing is Shibumi relies on foragers all over the area so it’s a great network of people; they are the ones who contributed a beautiful bounty of chanterelles at the farmers market.
The reason for this post is twofold: to introduce you to some really great local producers but also to share a tip for making creamy, delicious pasta!
I always wondered how restaurants got their pasta so creamy and delicious. I may not have the exact answer (or maybe I do?) but it seems to be that adding pasta water into the sauté pan with your butter and sauce will help you achieve a creamier, saucier dish. And the nice thing about LoRe Pasta is they remind you of this on their packaging, also reaffirming that this is a smart cooking move.
This is how the ever popular “Cacio E Pepe” pasta dish is made, so if you’re ever at a loss for a pasta sauce but have butter and parmesan cheese in the fridge, try this – you won’t regret it.
Creamy Spinach Linguine with Chanterelles
1lb Spinach Linguine
1tbsp. olive oil
1-2 large shallots, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
½lb chanterelle mushrooms (if dirty, wipe with a dry towel…never wash! Substitute your favorite foraged mushrooms if you can’t get chanterelles)
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp. butter
½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then salt generously.
- While water is coming to a boil, heat a skillet over medium heat and pour in 1 tbsp. olive oil. Sauté chopped shallots and garlic for about 1 minute, and then remove and set aside.
- Keeping the heat on, throw in your mushrooms and mix to coat in any remaining oil in the pan. Continue moving the mushrooms so they cook evenly. Add in more olive oil or butter as the mushrooms continue to cook, as you want them to soften a bit.
- Put your linguine in the boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes (for fresh pasta… ~10 minutes or until al dente for dry pasta). Transfer the linguine to your sauté pan (reserving the pasta water!) with the mushrooms and add back in the garlic and shallot mixture.
- Toss to combine, and in small amounts (I like to do no more than ¼ cup at a time) start adding the pasta water to the pan. Here I like to add in some butter (approx. 1 tbsp) and Parmigiano-Reggiano, stirring and tossing with tongs until everything is melted.
- From here you can decide to add more water depending on the consistency you like. It should be a nice silky consistency, not dry.