Toasted Mushroom Macaroni
Adopted from No Tea after 12
4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
8 oz. fresh mushrooms (approx 2 cups), thinly sliced
1 large or 2 small cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup apple juice
8 oz macaroni
2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup mozzarella
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
salt to taste
Heat a large heavy skillet over very high heat, add 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil to the pan. Sautee the mushrooms until browned, but not cooked all the way through, about 2-3 minutes. Reduce the heat and add the parsley, garlic, oregano and cook for another minute or so. Pour in the apple juice and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Remove the mushrooms and remaining sauce to a bowl, and set aside.
In another large skillet or saucepan, add the remaining 2 Tablespoons olive oil and the butter. Add the macaroni and stir it constantly until it is a deep golden brown, this takes me about 5 minutes. But do watch it carefully, its a bit like toasting nuts, the moment you step away from the stove it goes up in flames.
Once toasted, pour in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered until the pasta is almost tender. I usually bring mine to the point just before al dente, it takes approximately 10 minutes.
Stir in the mushroom mixture and cream and cook for a few more minutes to let everything come together in a beautiful creamy but not claggy sauce. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese and pepper. Taste for seasoning, add salt if needed, but the parmesan is usually just salty enough.