Thursday, March 29, 2012

Cajun Mushroom Fettuccine with Homemade Pasta and Fresh Ricotta

There are no pictures to this post because I was just experimenting, but when it turned out well and a friend asked for a recipe, I thought maybe I could retrace my steps and share.

We had a lot going on in the kitchen last night.  Honey was putting the cheese wax on the brick of cheddar cheese he made over the weekend (more on that later!), we were making fresh pasta, and I had this recipe going.  I think I need a bigger kitchen!

We used a Williams-Sonoma recipe for the pasta.  That I did stick to because I wanted to make sure it turned out.  We then used our pasta maker to roll it and cut it into fettuccine noodles. 

The ricotta that we used was a by-product of the cheddar cheese that Matthew made this weekend. Apparently after one makes the cheddar there is whey leftover, which can then be turned into ricotta.  I found this recipe that just tries making ricotta on its own, so maybe this is helpful if one just wants to make ricotta? 

For the cajun mushroom sauce, I had two recipes as inspiration: mushroom fettuccine and cajun chicken pasta.  Then I went off and did my own thing.  It looked something like this:

  • 1 chicken breast, cubed (you can, of course, use far more, I just wanted a taste of chicken this time)
  • 1 head garlic, cloves peeled
  • 1/2 large onion, diced and divided (Costco size)
  • 2 oz butter, divided
  • 2lb. mushrooms, sliced (I used baby bellas)
  • 1.5 c. ricotta (or slightly more)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c. grated cheese
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 2-3 c. chopped fresh spinach
  • cajun seasoning, garlic salt, red pepper flakes, pepper -- all to taste
  • 1/2-3/4 lb. fettuccine noodles
Coat chicken in spices and cook with half the onion, garlic, and butter until cooked through.  Remove from heat and set aside.

In the same frying pan, melt the rest of the butter.  Stir fry the rest of the onion and garlic for about two minutes, then add the mushrooms.  If you have some extra spices from the chicken, toss them in.  Cook until the mushrooms are done.

In the meantime, cook the fettuccine, drain, cut into smaller pieces, and set aside.

Using the big pot in which you cooked the fettuccine, mix together noodles, mushrooms, chicken, cheese, and milk.  Slowly add the two eggs and mix well (the food should be hot enough to cook the eggs as you mix).  Add the spinach and continue tossing until all is blended and the spinach is wilted.


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