From Blue Apron‘s facilities to my kitchen…
I would have never made and eaten mushroom pasta otherwise.
Jenny somehow acquired a free box from Blue Apron, this meal service that ships ingredients and instructions straight to your door. I can see the appeal, especially since all the ingredients are pre-measured and delivered and the recipes seem pretty diverse. Since this was the only vegetarian dish out of the three, I decided to try this first. (Stay tuned for lamb burgers and chicken Milanese.)
Honestly, this is a dish I would never make, never purchase, and would usually only eat if I was really hungry or my life depended on it. But I’m supposed to be “expanding my horizons/palate” and so, here I am, about to make mushroom pasta. Inconceivable.
Knowing that I would just pick out all the mushrooms if I chopped up according to instruction (“thinly slice…bite-sized pieces”), I made sure Jenny and I finely diced the fungal horrors. A few other modifications we/I made: decreasing the amount of butter, increasing the amount of parmesan, adding cayenne pepper, and omitting the salt. The verdict? Neither Jenny nor I would purchase this (my true test of dish superiority).
I did attempt to stay as close to the recipe as possible, since I wanted to really “test out” this service. Finely dicing the mushrooms actually increased the flavour profile (not something I wanted, but forced me to stomach them), although it prevented us from deciphering which mushroom was which. The seasoning packet was saturated with Italian herbs and needed more of a bang (hence the added pepper). Decreasing the butter might have been detrimental to the dish’s creaminess, but Jenny and I would have preferred more cheese and less butter. And for god’s sake, those shallot rings might have been terribly breaded but did not contribute much besides upping the “fun” texturally. A spritz of lemon juice or some other acid would have also helped.
- 5 oz egg noodles
- 4 oz green beans
- 2 oz yellow wax beans
- 3 oz cremini mushrooms
- 2 oz shiitake mushrooms
- 2 oz maitake mushrooms
- 1 bunch parsley
- 3 tbsp flour
- 1 shallot
- 1/2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp spice blend*
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup shaved parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup olive oil (approximately)
- Peel the shallot and thinly slice (about 1/2 cm thick) into rings.
- Soak the rings in a bowl of cold water.
- Place a medium pot of water on high and bring to a boil.
- Meanwhile, finely dice the mushrooms and set aside.
- Discard the stem ends of the beans and roughly chop into 1 inch long pieces.
- Pick the parsley leaves off the stems. Set aside the leaves and discard the stems.
- Drain the shallot rings. In a small bowl, combine the rings and flour thoroughly.
- In a large pan, heat enough olive oil to cover the bottom layer on medium until hot.
- Place the breaded rings in the pan, frying until golden brown and crispy.
- Transfer the rings onto a paper towel lined plate.
- If the oil is clean, save about 2 tablespoons and discard the rest. Otherwise, discard all. In the same pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil on medium.
- Add the mushrooms and cook until browned (about 3-5 minutes).
- Meanwhile, add the egg noodles to the pot of boiling water and cook until al dente (about 6-8 minutes). Save about 1/2 cup of pasta water and drain the rest. Set the pasta aside.
- Once the mushrooms have browned, add the beans and seasoning.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until the spices are fragrant (about 2-4 minutes).
- Add the 1/2 cup of pasta water and cook, stirring occasionally, until the water has evaporated.
- Add the pasta, butter, cayenne pepper, grated cheese and half of the shaved cheese. Mix thoroughly.
- Garnish with the shallot rings, parsley and remaining shaved cheese.
- *Summer spice blend ingredients according to Blue Apron: Italian seasoning, garlic powder, ground yellow mustard seeds & ground cayenne pepper