Linguine with Black Garlic and Mushrooms

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This is a simple but lovely dish that lets the black garlic taste shine through. I paired the dish with a red, fruity and medium bodied Piccini Memoro which really complimented the dish.

Ingredients (serves 2):

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
A very generous grind of black pepper
225 g sliced mushrooms
8 cloves black garlic, peeled and sliced
1 medium to large shallot, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Salt, to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan
225 g uncooked linguine (or other ribbon pasta)

Method:
Start with a large saucepan of water to cook the linguine. When the water boils, start cooking pasta (which should take 9 to 10 minutes—check package instructions). As pasta cooks, heat olive oil in a large, deep nonstick pan over a medium heat. Grind black pepper into the oil as it heats. Add mushrooms and black garlic to a frying pan and toss to coat with oil. Cook for about 5 minutes, then reduce heat to medium and add shallot to pan. Cook, stirring frequently—you want to soften the shallots, not brown it.
When pasta is done cooking (keep it on the al dente side—it will continue to cook when added to the mushroom garlic mixture), turn off the heat under the saucepan. Drain the pasta, reserving a half cup or so of the cooking liquid. Add the pasta to the frying pan and toss to combine. Add the basil and toss. Season with salt to taste. If the pasta is too dry, add some reserved pasta water, a couple of tablespoons at a time.

Divide the pasta into two pasta bowls. You’ll likely get a lot of pasta in the bowls at first and leave mushrooms, garlic and shallots in the pan. That’s perfect, because you can then spoon them over the tops of the bowls. Top with freshly grated Parmesan and serve.

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