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Orecchiette Pasta with Chanterelles, Spinach, Walnuts, and Shallots

Orecchiette Pasta with Chanterelles, Spinach, Walnuts, and Shallots This Recipe Skill Level: Serves: 6 Start to Finish: 25 minutes Prep: Cook: "Who doesn’t love a comforting pasta dish? The options for accompaniments are endless and depend on what's in season, but this go-to of mine highlights mushrooms with a light sauce made with crème fraiche. Walnuts and spinach add great flavor and texture, as well as antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins. I like to use orecchiette pasta because their irregular texture and shape helps catch and hold onto sauce." —Chef/partner John Clark of Foreign Cinema Ingredients: 1 pound orecchiette pasta 1 pound golden chanterelles, (porcini, horn of plenty, black chanterelles, or maitake mushrooms can be substituted) cleaned, and sliced thinly 2 tablespoons olive oil Sea salt to taste 2 tablespoons minced shallots 2 teaspoons minced garlic 1 cup vegetable stock 1/2 cup crème fraiche, plus more if needed (substitute sour cream or Greek yogurt) 1 handful, or about 3 ounces, Savoy or Bloomsdale spinach, cleaned and patted dry (if leaves are very large, rough chop for ease later when adding to the pasta) 1/2 cup freshly shelled walnuts, toasted in the oven for 7 minutes, and lightly chopped 1/4 cup grated Reggiano Parmesan cheese (optional) Directions: 1. Put a pot of water on for the pasta. Place pasta in water and cook until tender with a chewy center, about 12 minutes. 2. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms, season with sea salt to taste, and cook for about 10 to 12 minutes, stirring frequently, until they have released their moisture and then reabsorbed most of pan juices. This step provides a little extra mushroom flavor. 3. Add the shallots, garlic and vegetable stock. Simmer together over low heat for about 5 more minutes. 4. Stir in crème fraiche, taste, and adjust seasoning. Cook for a 2 minutes until the sauce is slightly thickened. Add more crème fraiche if you desire more richness. Turn off heat. 5. Drain pasta and combine in sauté pan with mushrooms. 6. Sprinkle pasta with a little sea salt, and add spinach leaves, tossing everything together in the pan a few times. The heat of the noodles & sauce will wilt spinach without cooking the green leaves too much. 7. Place pasta on a warm serving platter. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts and Parmesan (optional) and serve immediately.
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