01 July 2010

My obsession with "Pasta"

I have a confession to make.  I am totally hooked on Korean dramas right now.  The one that got me started on them all was one called "Pasta," a 20-episode series set in the kitchen of a fictional Italian restaurant in Seoul.  After hours of watching the characters cook and eat plate after plate of spaghetti, linguine, and ramen, I developed a deep craving for wrapping my mouth around some well-twirled pasta of my own!  So I took inspiration from a favorite family recipe that combines pasta, chicken, sauteed mushrooms, and broccoli in a delicate sauce.  (This was one of the few dishes my mom made when I was growing up that had a name other than a mere descriptive title.  We called this "Yum Yum" because it was, well, yummy.  Rather an original name, eh?)

The combination of the main ingredients is pretty hard to beat, but to make the sauce extra flavorful, I decided to use some sweet Marsala wine.  Then, to get the pasta and sauce to really meld together, I added the linguine--slightly undercooked--to the prepared Marsala sauce and finished cooking the pasta while tossing and coating it in the sauce.

While I do not endorse many of the kitchen practices portrayed in "Pasta" (e.g. sticking your fingers into the plated dish for a taste-test), I did pick up a couple of fun things to try out, one of them being a plating technique for long, twirl-able pasta.  Basically, you pick up a whole serving of pasta strands on a large two-pronged fork and twirl the pasta into a nice mound and then place it, all neat and tidy, onto the serving plate.  I think I still need some practice to get the same results everyone in the show was producing, but the learning curve shouldn't be too steep....

Anyways, I thoroughly enjoyed making and eating this dish, with the luscious linguine all coated with light Marsala sauce, and chunks of chicken, earthy sauteed mushrooms, and steamed green broccoli adding a variety of flavors, colors, and textures.  I'm not gonna force you to love K-dramas, or to call this dish Yum Yum, but I do think you should at least try this pasta!  Here's my recipe:

Linguine with Mushrooms, Chicken, and Broccoli
Serves 4

1/2 lb. linguine
1 lb. brown mushrooms, sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 Tbs. butter
1 Tbs. flour
1/2 cup Marsala wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 large chicken breasts, poached in chicken broth and cut into pieces

1 head broccoli, cut into florets
salt and pepper to taste
handful Italian parsley, finely chopped

Cook linguine in salted boiling water until not quite al dente.  While pasta cooks, saute sliced mushrooms in melted butter over high heat.  Deglaze mushroom pan with Marsala, letting alcohol evaporate.  Sprinkle pan with flour and whisk into the reducing wine, then add chicken broth, milk, and grated cheese, whisking and allowing to further reduce until a sauce forms.

Add linguine and stir to coat, continuing to cook the pasta until it is al dente, and adding pasta cooking water if too dry.  Meanwhile, steam broccoli florets in salted water.  Add broccoli and cubed chicken and stir to combine, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.


Lauren said...

I have made variations of this dish before, but it has never looked so lovely! Great plating technique, and I love the idea of finishing the linguine in the marsala. Mmm!!!

Le said...

I love this! I love pasta and this is one tasty recipe! Btw I love korean tv series' too! You gotta watch 'Full House' and 'All In', you'd love it!

erica said...

Oh, yay, another k-drama fan! Thanks for the suggestions, Le! I'll have to try and find these! :)

canoodler said...

After 30 years in the pasta business-I started Al Dente Pasta® Company back in 1981-I am obviously obsessed with pasta and can't believe I never knew about this K-Drama. Will definitely check it out. One thing for sure, I'll try your recipe, maybe with Al Dente Pasta® Roasted Garlic Linguine.check out my blog: www.aldentecanoodler.com for other pasta recipes you may like.

Mei-Ting said...

Ooo that looks so good! Have you watched Coffee Prince btw? Or Dae Jang Geum (based on a real-life historical character - but the food part doesn't show up immediately)? I <3 Coffee Prince! :)

Alison Zulyniak said...

Mmmmmmmmmm....so yummy!

Nathan & Jeanine DeLadurantey said...

Next time I cook linguine I'm going to try twirling each serving - looks fabulous.

Angie said...

Wow, this pasta looks delicious! I'm definitely going to have to try this.

Melpy said...

I haven't had any type of marsala in years. Probably because my mother's recipe was fried with lots of butter. This looks much healthier!

Mary Watts said...

I also love the Korean Drama called Pasta and the other one, Gourmet, also called The Grand Chef. I think it is because both of these shows are centered around food.

Unknown said...

WOw. i want to try this recipe. so bad

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