Fettucine with Wild Mushrooms and Cream Sauce
Kosher salt, plus more as needed
4-5 ounces dried fettuccine or pappardelle
2 tablespoons butter
4 ounces fresh wild mushrooms, cleaned and broken or sliced into medium pieces
¼ cup Madeira, such as Rainwater
Black pepper in a mill
½ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons creme fraiche
½ ounce grated Estero Gold or dry Jack (or parmigiana)
2 tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley
Fill a large pot about two-thirds full with water, add the salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
While the pasta cooks, melt the butter in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté, turning a time or two, for 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, add the Madeira and cover the pan. Cook until the mushrooms are completely limp, 3 to 6 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer until the liquid is almost completely evaporated.
Add the cream and cook about 3 minutes more, until the cream thickens. Stir in the creme fraiche and cheese and heat through. Remove from the heat, taste and correct for salt.
Drain the pasta thoroughly but do not rinse it. Divide it between 2 warm pasta or soup plates and top with half the sauce.
Use 2 forks to gently lift the pasta several times so the sauce coats it. Do not actually toss it; the mushrooms should remain on top. Scatter parsley over the pasta and enjoy right away.
Michele Anna Jordan is the author of 24 books to date, including "Pasta with Sauces" (Williams Sonoma). Email her at email@example.com