I absolutely love all flavors that Spring has to offer. Everything is in bloom right now in Napa, and boy is it gorgeous. My favorite thing is to find small produce stands on the side of the road that only carry local, seasonal produce. Yesterday I found the “Sonoma Valley Fruit Basket”, which is where I bought almost all ingredients for this recipe. I’m having withdrawals from not being able to have my huge garden this year due to our small backyard at our new house, so these finds are very important to me. Also, “buying-local” is not only a feel good thing, but many researchers have concluded the fact that there is a profound economic impact of keeping money in town and how the fate of many communities around the nation increasingly depend on it.
Black garlic is a fermented product that has a little garlic flavor left in it, but becomes almost sweet. If you take a look at one of the new trends popping up in all grocery stores, you will find that olive bars, along with pickles, roasted pickled peppers and mushrooms and even pickled cheese are there. One of the reasons for this is because we are starting to realize how beneficial to our health fermented products are. They increase your overall nutrition by promoting the growth of friendly intestinal bacteria. Fermented products also aid in digestion, support immune function, including an increase in B vitamins (even Vitamin B12), omega-3 fatty acids, digestive enzymes, lactase and lactic acid, and other immune chemicals that fight off harmful bacteria and even cancer cells. So say “yes” to sauerkraut!!!!
Ingredients: (Serves 4)
-1 lb fusilli pasta
-1 cup cherry tomatoes
-1/2 fresno chile, small dice
-1/2 red onion, small dice
-1 cup chopped cremini mushrooms
-zest of 1 lemon
-6 cloves black garlic
-1/2 cup olive oil
-salt and pepper to taste
-First, start the pasta water, bring to a boil. Throw in the fusilli until al dente. Set aside, but save some of that delicious and starchy pasta water for the sauce.
-While the water is coming to a boil, place a cast iron skillet on medium high with just enough butter to coat the bottom of the pan. Place the mushrooms in the pan, making sure not to overcrowd, cook until brown on both sides. Remove from pan. In the same pan, on medium heat cook the black garlic, onions and chilies until almost translucent. At this point, stir in the cherry tomatoes and cook for about 3-4 minutes. At the point you can put the mushrooms back in the pan, add the zest, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup of starchy pasta water and the fusilli. Toss to combine and garnish with basil and Pecorino Romano Cheese.