Chives, which impart a mild onion-like taste, typically are used discreetly or as a garnish. In chef Waldy Malouf's recipe, there are enough chives to dominate, both in flavor and in their emerald-green appearance. Malouf, chef and co-owner of Beacon restaurant in New York, developed this recipe 15 years ago for his kids (who picked the mushrooms out of it; too bad, because mushrooms add an earthiness). It can be served hot or sit on a buffet at room temperature.
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup (2 or 3 bunches) roughly snipped chives
- Coarse sea salt or kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound cremini mushrooms, stems trimmed
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound spaghettini or angel hair pasta
- Freshly grated pecorino-Romano cheese (optional)
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
In a food processor or blender, combine 1/2 cup olive oil, the chives and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Process until pureed and set aside.
In a medium bowl, toss the mushrooms with remaining 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and generous pinches of salt and pepper. On a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, spread the mushrooms in a single layer. Roast for 5 minutes, turn mushrooms over, and continue roasting until tender and browned, about 5 more minutes. When cool enough to handle, cut the mushrooms into quarters.
Meanwhile, cook the spaghettini following package directions until al dente. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons of the cooking water if you plan to serve the pasta hot.
In a large serving bowl, toss the pasta with the mushrooms and the emulsified chive oil. If serving immediately, toss with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the reserved cooking water. Otherwise, let the pasta cool to room temperature. Serve with the cheese, if desired.
Adapted from "High Heat," by Waldy Malouf and Melissa Clark (Broadway Books, 2003).
Tested by Marcia Kramer.
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