Dinner in 25 Minutes

Cremini Mushrooms With Chive Pasta

4 servings

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.

Adapted from "High Heat," by Waldy Malouf and Melissa Clark (Broadway Books, 2003).

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup roughly snipped chives (2 or 3 bunches)

Coarse sea salt or kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 pound cremini mushrooms, stems trimmed

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.

Per serving: 754 calories, 19 g protein, 88 g carbohydrates, 38 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 5 g saturated fat, 83 mg sodium, 4 g dietary fiber

Recipe tested by Marcia Kramer; e-mail questions to food@washpost.com

-- Marcia Kramer


* Emile Henry's handsome new line of Flame-Top ceramic casseroles are more lightweight than cast-iron or enameled cookware and can go straight from the freezer to the oven or microwave; we found this 4.2-quart pot ($130) easy to use and easy to clean, but it's also dishwasher-safe; available at Sur La Table, Tysons Galleria in McLean; call 703-749-1125 or order online at www.surlatable.com.

* Entertaining, even if you don't make a single recipe: The thin volume of "Chas Addams Half-Baked Cookbook: Culinary Cartoons for the Humorously Famished" (Simon & Schuster) combines the clever food-inspired illustrations (some previously unpublished) of the late Charles Addams with unusual recipes of old -- potted woodland squirrel, fried locusts and, our favorite, Mushrooms Fester, which calls for "two tablespoons of the blood of a hare"; $20, available at most major bookstores.

ICE ACE | Art Hongpong

Art Hongpong, a garde-manger cook at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Pentagon City, took first-place ice sculpture honors and was selected as a member of the 2007 three-person World Pastry Cup team at a competition Saturday at L'Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg. He took 90 minutes to carve the nearly four-foot-tall sculpture with a modern architectural theme. This will be the second international competition for Hongpong, a Washington resident, who won a gold medal at the 2002 Winter Culinary Olympics in Salt Lake City.

-- Candy Sagon

HOW WE EAT | Changes in Habits Over the Past 20 Years

Compared to 1985, Americans are eating more takeout, skipping more main meals and using our microwave ovens more. And when we step on the scale, more of us wish we could lose 20 pounds.

These are some of the findings by the NPD Group in its "Eating Patterns in America" report. The Chicago-based consumer research firm has been tracking Americans' eating habits for 25 years. This year's report shows how we have changed over the past two decades. Among the key findings:

* The number of meals eaten in a restaurant annually has decreased from 93 per person in 1985 to 80 today.

* 92 percent of Americans consume some form of "ready-to-eat" foods in the home daily.

* We're eating more meals in the car -- 32 per person today versus 19 in 1985.

* Twenty years ago, 54 percent said they wanted to lose at least 20 pounds. Today it's 61 percent.

* The annual number of main meals skipped per person rose from 102 to 114.

* We use our stove tops less (down 18 percent), and our microwave ovens more (doubled to 20 percent).

* Outdoor grills and slow cookers are being used more at dinner.

* We are significantly more accepting of people who are overweight. In 1985, 55 percent of respondents said they completely agreed with the statement, "People who are not overweight look a lot more attractive." This year, 24 percent completely agreed with the statement.

-- Candy Sagon


THURSDAY: Cooking demonstration with chef Geoff Tracy of Chef Geoff's at Penn Quarter FreshFarm market. Free. 5 p.m. 8th St. NW, between D and E streets. Call 202-362-8889.

FRIDAY: Chocolate tastings with chocolatier Joseph Schmidt at Balducci's. Free. 11 a.m.- 2 p.m., 600 Franklin St., Alexandria, call 703-549-6611; 3-7 p.m., 10323 Old Georgetown Rd., Bethesda, call 301-564-3100.

SATURDAY: Baking demonstration and book signing with "Chocolate Chocolate" author Lisa Yockelson. Free. Noon-2 p.m. Williams-Sonoma at White Flint Mall, North Bethesda. Call 301-468-6156.

SATURDAY-SUNDAY: Autumn Rootsfest festival with international natural and gourmet foods and more. Free. Noon-4 p.m. both days. Roots Market, 5805 Clarksville Square Dr., Clarksville. Call 443-535-9321.

SATURDAY: Australian and New Zealand wine expo -- featuring tastings of more than 100 Australian and New Zealand wines as well as food samplings. Sponsored by the Australia American Association. $65 for nonmembers. 5-8 p.m. Australian Embassy, 1601 Massachusetts Ave. NW. Call 202-659-2400 or see www.australiausa.org.

SUNDAY: Anatomy of a Chocolate Cookie Dough -- dinner, cooking demonstration and book signing with "Chocolate Chocolate" author Lisa Yockelson at Clyde's of Chevy Chase. Sponsored by Slow Food DC. $45 for nonmembers includes tax, tip and wine pairing. 5 p.m. 5441 Wisconsin Ave. Call 703-471-6454.

MONDAY: Restaurants for Relief Gala -- food and wine tasting featuring 50 chefs from around the country who will prepare Southern cuisine in tribute to New Orleans. Local chefs include Todd Gray (Equinox) and Roberto Donna (Galileo). Proceeds to support rebuilding of food banks in Gulf Coast communities. Sponsored by Share Our Strength. $125. 7-10 p.m. National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. Call 202-478-6527; to purchase tickets see www.strength.org.

-- Terri Sapienza

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