Friday, April 17, 2009



That's right, Camembert. If you're thinking "rich," you're thinking right. This luscious dish is another one of Cooks Illustrated's refinements of a dish that could easily go wrong, but here, it doesn't. It's quick and easy enough to make for a good weeknight meal, but its richness may relegate it to "special occasion" category. It's very smooth in texture and flavor, and would go well with a boldly flavored salad. That's how I will serve it when I share it with guests.

Hint: make sure Camembert is at room temperature before you use it. otherwise it will take a long time to melt into the hot pasta.

Table salt
1 lb. bow-tie (farfalle) pasta
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin oilive oil
3-4 large shallots, chopped fine to make about 1 cup
3 medium cloves garlic, chopped fine to make about 1 tablespoon
10 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, caps wiped clean, and slice 1/4 inch thick
10 oz. cremini mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 cup frozen peas
1 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Ground black pepper
6 oz. Camembert with rind, cut into 1/2-inch squares, room temperature
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Bring 4 quarts water to rolling boil in a large stockpot. Add salt to taste and pasta, cook to desired doneness. Drain pasta and return to stockpot.

Meanwhile, heat butter and olive oil over medium heat in a 12-inch skillet until foaming. Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and heat just until fragrant, 30 seconds. Increase heat to medium high, add shiitakes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add creminis and salt to taste, continue cooking and stirring occasionally until mushrooms and shallots are golden brown, about 8 minutes.

Transfer mushrooms and shallots to a bowl and set aside. Add peas to broth and pour both into skillet. Bring to a boil and scrape up browned bits in bottom of skillet. Remove from heat, stir in cream and lemon juice, and adjust salt and pepper.

Add mushrooms, broth mixture, softened Camembert and chives to pasta in stockpot. Toss over medium low heat until pasta absorbs most of liquid and Camembert is melted and well-combined. Serve immediately.


Anonymous said...


There's a chili and pecan recipe out there somewhere that uses Camembert and it was served at a luncheon some years ago that I thought was absolutely delicious. This is the second time I've seen a recipe that calls for it and can envision it will taste just as good. I shall try it for sure. If I find the other recipe I'll email it over if you're interested. Gotta be somewhere on the net. This is a good one! Thanks.

Ralph said...

Please do find that recipe and share it, Z&M! Sounds very interesting. Chili and pecans...hmmm....