The first ingredient to inspire my "Dinner from the Darkside" was squid ink linguine. Originally I was going to simply throw together this giant pasta dish and serve it with a dark red salad, some red wine and laughs. My original plans rarely stay as simple as they begin. My foodie brain gets over excited, amazing ideas start flowing and suddenly I've made a five course tasting menu, matched with wines and a cocktail. My poor friends.
Everywhere I looked I found inspiration for squid ink linguine with pesto or tomato and calamari. I needed something more earthy and finally I saw a mushroom inspired concept. Perfect. I ran with that concept and decided to create a creamy porcini and mixed mushroom sauce from a white wine, garlic and cream sauce.
This is the perfect main course for a relaxing dinner party. It's easy and can be thrown together pretty quickly.
Squid ink linguine and dried porcini mushrooms are available in most specialty grocery stores. I sourced both of these ingredients from my favourite Norton Street Grocer in Leichhardt's Norton Street Plaza in Sydney.
INGREDIENTS Serves 6 PASTA 1 packet of squid ink linguine SAUCE 1 cup of dried porcini mushrooms 2 cups mixed mushrooms cut into smaller pieces and prepared for cooking. I used shimeji, as they're grey, and enoki mushrooms Olive oil 2 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed and finely sliced 3-4 sprigs of thyme, plus extra leaves to serve 1/4 cup dry white wine (dash) 3/4-1 cup of pouring cream OPTIONAL Garlic olive oil or truffle oil Chives, finely sliced
METHOD 1. Sauce (STEPS 1 and 3-4) - Rehydrate the porcini mushrooms. To do this, pour warm water over the dried mushrooms to cover them and leave to soak for at least 20 minutes. Drain almost all of the liquid off after this time, reserving 2 tablespoons. Set aside. 2. Pasta (STEP 2 and 4) - Cook all of the squid ink linguine in salted boiled water until al dente (approximately 7 minutes). Drain, toss through a small amount of oil to avoid it sticking together and set aside. 3. Sauce - heat a pan on medium high heat. Add olive oil and cook the garlic and thyme sprigs quickly till aromatic. Add the porcini and extra liquid, stirring to combine before adding the other mushrooms. Stir for a minute to combine and slightly cook though. Add the wine, stir and cook through until everything is combined again and the wine begins to evaporate. Add the cream, quickly stir through and remove for heat to avoid boiling the cream. Season to taste. 4. Pasta and sauce - Remove the thyme sprigs. Add the linguine to the sauce and toss to thoroughly combine.
Twist servings of the linguine onto plates. Top with mushrooms and sprinkle with thyme leaves and chives.
To serve, drizzle the linguine with the garlic or truffle oil and serve with a striking black bread, like the delicious Bamboo Charcoal Baguette I sourced at the fantastic Grounds of Alexandria here in Sydney. Yum!
WINE SUGGESTION Don't feel as though you have to stick to old "rules" when serving wine with food. Creamy dishes don't always have to be served with a white wine. We served this meal with an amazing Yearlands Estate Pinot Noir from New Zealand, and it was a good choice. The earthiness of the mushrooms and squid ink linguine complimented the Pinot Noir in a surprisingly delicate way. Always make sure you take time to choose a good Pinot Noir. Otherwise you'll be disappointed. I always have a quick look at some reviews and make my mind up from there. It's worth the research and often the extra cash!
I haven't mentioned this before either, but always use a decanter. It makes any takes any wine to a better level ~ even white wines. They don't have to cost a fortune. Ours was a cheap find at Kmart a few years back. Just pour your wine in before your guests arrive and sit it aside somewhere for a while.
Follow @tippleandfodder on Instagram for the final "Dinner from the Darkside" inspiration piece being revealed later tonight to inspire your black themed Halloween dinner party or simply to tickle your tastebuds.
If you have any variations or recipes you'd like me to feature, please pop onto Instagram and follow @tippleandfodder to leave suggestions on my posts.
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