We recently traveled to the southern New Jersey town of Robbinsville – we’ll tell you why in a post coming up soon! – and we came across a place called Dolce & Clemente’s. We were amazed and delighted to find a shop that sold all kinds of interesting and unique Italian foods, plus giant fresh sandwiches (we got their Eggplant Caprese and it was so huge that it took us an entire weekend between the two of us to finish it). It was tempting to buy one of everything in the store, but we reigned ourselves in and got a pound of scamorza cheese and a pound of creste di gallo pasta, which we picked because it was very cool looking. Once we got this stuff home, though, we realized we had to find something delicious to do with it. Cyril, being the culinarily creative one, came up with this recipe that we’ll now share with you.
To make this, you’ll need:
Of course you’ll want to start by bringing a pot of water to a boil and then cooking your pasta (the creste di gallo takes 12 minutes, and if you’re using a different type of noodle follow the package directions for boiling times). While you’re waiting, warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pan with high sides. Slice your mushrooms and place them in the pan, stirring them frequently and letting them cook for 5 minutes until they’re browned and reduced in size. Chop up 2 or 3 cloves of garlic and add those in, keeping them in the pan for another few minutes until the mushrooms are fully cooked.
Turn the heat down to medium and pour in 1/2 cup of white wine. Stir the mushrooms and garlic around until the wine has mostly cooked off, then pour in a cup of half-and-half. Grate your scamorza and stir that in until it melts and you have a thick but pourable sauce, adding in more half-and-half as needed until you have the right consistency.
When the pasta is done and drained, mix it into the sauce along with a handful of basil leaves.
And serve with extra basil leaves as a topping.
We really enjoyed cooking with the creste di gallo because it’s such a fun shape, but you can use really any type of pasta here. The sauce is pretty easy to make and comes down to just making sure you cook the mushrooms enough so that they’re tender and not rubbery, and then getting the sauce to be the right thickness. In the end you have a creamy and cheesy pasta with a white wine flavor, with some basil to round everything out. We liked putting the ingredients we bought to good and creative use, and we hope our recipe invention inspires you to try it out too!