We're big fans of Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria here at Serious Eats, so it's little surprise that its chef, Justin Smillie, made the cut for Food and Wine's new cookbook America's Greatest New Cooks. Not surprisingly, many of his recipes in the book include pasta in some form. One of his more unique dishes, Pasta with Shiitake, Peas, and Goat Cheese, takes layered lasanga and scrambles it up a bit. Smillie adds fresh primavera-ish flavors to broken flat noodles with peas, goat, cheese, and mint, while grounding the pasta with earthy mushrooms and thyme.
Why I picked this recipe: A broiled lasagna-esque dish has one foot in the comfort foods of winter and another in the bright flavors of spring--just what's needed in the first weeks of February.
What worked: Goat cheese, mint, and peas is guaranteed to be a winning combination; add in the delightfully crunchy bits from broiling pasta with Parmesan and the meal is even better.
What didn't: I found the pea-blanching step unnecessary when using thawed frozen peas.
Suggested tweaks: The lack of asparagus in late winter grocery stores shouldn't deter you from making this dish. Simply substitute more frozen peas and/or mushrooms. You can also broil the dish directly in your skillet (as long as it's a broiler-proof number).
Reprinted with permission from Food & Wine: America's Greatest New Cooks Edited by Dana Cowin, copyright 2013. Published by American Express Publishing. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.
- Yield:serves 6
- Active time: 45 minutes
- Total time:45 minutes
- 1 pound dried lasagnette or broken lasagna noodles
- 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup peas, thawed if frozen
- 1/2 pound thin asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
- 3/4 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps sliced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 large shallots, minced (3/4 cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped thyme
- 2 tablespoons dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 4 ounces fresh goat cheese
- 1/2 cup chopped mint
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the lasagnette until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Transfer the pasta to a baking sheet and toss with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil.
In a medium saucepan of salted boiling water, blanch the peas until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the peas to a plate to cool. Add the asparagus to the saucepan and blanch until they are crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Drain the asparagus and add them to the peas.
Preheat the broiler and butter a shallow 9-by-13-inch baking dish. In a large, deep skillet, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil until shimmering. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the shallots, thyme and the 2 tablespoons of butter and cook, stirring, until the butter is melted and the shallots are softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the wine and lemon juice. Remove from the heat; stir in the goat cheese until melted.
Fold the asparagus, peas, mint and 1/4 cup of the Parmigiano into the sauce and season with salt and pepper. Add the pasta and the reserved cooking water and toss until thoroughly coated. Transfer the pasta to the prepared baking dish and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmigiano
on top. Broil the lasagnette 6 inches from the heat until lightly golden and bubbling, 3 to 5 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Wine Pairing: Minerally Italian white: 2011 Palazzone Orvieto