This week’s CSA haul:
- Mustard greens
- Chinese broccoli
- Summer squash
- Slicing cucumbers – the whackadoo yellow kind
- Green onions
- Thai basil
With some of my CSA haul I made a variation of Michael Chiarello’s Fettuccine with Mustard Greens and Mushrooms. When I got my CSA newsletter, I googled “mustard green pasta” looked at the recipe and followed the general idea – there wasn’t any real measuring involved, I used both the mustard greens and Chinese broccoli, and it was still absolutely delicious.
I started by sautéing two packages of cremini mushrooms…
Once they released their liquid, I added some garlic, fresh thyme, and fennel seeds (the star of the dish)…
Then I added the greens, Chinese broccoli and mustard greens…
And cooked them down with some stock – chicken, vegetable, or mushroom would all be delicious…
The whole mix was tossed with cooked fettuccine…
And served garnished with parsley and parmesan – yum!
This was an incredibly quick and easy dish that uses a tried and true technique – the sauce/vegetables take exactly as long to prep and cook as it takes to boil water and cook pasta (seriously, it was exactly the same amount of time) and the technique is something that I’ve used with a million different vegetable/seasoning/pasta combinations. What threw this dish over the top is something that I never, ever would have thought to add to pasta even though it is one of my favorite flavors of all time: fennel seeds. The fennel played perfectly with the earthy mushrooms, bitter greens, lemony thyme, and garlic. It is a surprisingly delicious mix of flavors.
I didn’t follow the recipe amounts at all. I used my two bunches of greens, two big packages of creminis, some stock (maybe two cups?), 3/4 of a box of fettuccini, you get the picture.
- 10 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus a little more as necessary, divided
- 6 cups roughly chopped fresh mushrooms such as shiitake or morel
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 4 cups double-strength chicken broth or 4 cups canned low-salt chicken broth boiled until reduced by half
- 6 cups packed roughly chopped mustard greens, green chard, or spinach
- 1 1/2 pound dried fettuccine
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- About 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add the mushrooms and do not move them until they begin to brown, about 1 minute. Then saute until brown all over, about 5 minutes. Add another tablespoon olive oil if the pan is too dry. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Add the garlic and cook quickly until light brown. Add the thyme, fennel seeds, and stock and bring to a boil. Add the greens, season with salt and pepper, and simmer until tender, about 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 12 minutes. Drain, refresh quickly under cool running water, and toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Stir the butter into the greens and add the pasta and parsley. Toss to heat through and add half of the Parmesan. Toss well again and pour onto a heated serving platter. Dust with the other half of Parmesan and serve.