Unzipping Isaac Mizrahi’s Mushroom Truffle Spaghetti

Dismal weather brings out the cook in me. There’s nothing like cozying in your kitchen and whipping up a warm, satisfying dish on a hot stove. It’s also carb season, and what better way to fuel up than a tangled pile of spaghetti? And I’m not talking your childhood sauce-n-glop. No sir. We found a recipe for designer pasta that’ll knock the stockings off your most well-heeled dinner guests: Isaac Mizrahi’s Mushroom Truffle Spaghetti, published this month in Assouline’s CFDA American Fashion Cookbook. Mizrahi’s dishy dish is just one of dozens of stylish entrée, appetizer, dessert, and drink recipes from a roster of fashion’s finest. Hungry? Try Zac Posen’s great-grandma’s butterscotch wafers, or Diane von Furstenberg’s chicken, or Bill Blass’ prune whip.

The star-studded book also has the kitchen-friendly seal of approval from Martha Stewart, who penned the foreword. Mizrahi guested on Martha’s show this week, creatively costuming critters for her “Halloween Pet-acular.” I’ll admit to secretly wanting to dress my cat (have you seen those cat wigs? why didn’t I think of that?), so I was glad to learn Mizrahi == whose glamorous Fred Astaire-inspired spring line will spark your inner Ginger at his new shop come December — is no fashion snob: he dressed his own pup Harry as a spiky green dinosaur. I wonder if Harry hunts down truffles for his master’s spaghetti? See below for the designer’s earthy dish, to be savored with a plush Pinot Noir.

Isaac Mizrahi’s Mushroom Truffle Spaghetti 3 tbl extra virgin olive oil 2 tbl unsalted butter 1 large onion, chopped into matchsticks 4 fat cloves garlic, minced 8 cups mushrooms, any variety, cleaned, washed and sliced (recommended: a blend of shitake, enoki, porcini, and portobello) 11⁄2 cups chicken stock 1 pound spaghetti 8 cups water 2 tbl fresh sage, minced 2 1⁄2 tbl truffle paste 1⁄3 cup cream Salt to taste Fresh ground pepper Pecorino Romano, grated for garnish

Boil water with plenty of salt for the spaghetti. On medium-high heat, in a large frying pan, heat oil and butter. Sauté onion for 2-3 minutes until opaque. Add minced garlic, and cook for about one minute, stirring constantly, being careful not to burn it. Mix in mushrooms. (It may seem like a lot in the pan, but the mushrooms will reduce eventually. Also, if it seems like the oil and butter are absorbed too quickly by the mushrooms, don’t worry, add another tablespoon or so of olive oil.) Cook for 3-5 minutes, adding 1⁄2 teaspoon of salt in the last stages. Add half of the sage, reserving the other half. Increase to high heat and add chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 8 minutes. At this point, drop the spaghetti into the boiling water and cook for 8 minutes. (Note: do not cook it for the recommended 12 minutes, because it should be undercooked when it goes into the ragù.) After the mushroom mixture has been simmering for 5 minutes add truffle paste, and simmer for another minute. Add cream and simmer for the last 2 minutes. Pull the pasta from the water with tongs, placing the wet pasta directly into ragù. Add remaining sage, salt and pepper to taste and simmer for 2 more minutes. If the ragù seems dry, add the reserved starchy water as needed. Serve immediately and garnish each bowl with freshly grated Pecorino Romano.

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