I got a great cook book for Christmas. (Yes, it was one of those that was packed with the Donner Party book.) Cooking Know-How, simply put, gives you all you need to know about cooking and they "why's" behind it. It is set up as chapters with blocked-out recipes based on the basics of the dish. It really is a very well-done cook book. (No pun intended. Okay, maybe just a little one...)
Anyhow, a simple recipe caught my eye. The Rigatoni with Chicken and Apples was a success some time back so I thought I would give the Ziti with Mushrooms in a Marsala Cream Sauce a go. It was easy to make and it did not disappoint.
Basically, I needed ziti pasta, olive oil, cream, thyme, a pile a crimini mushrooms, a bottle of marsala (a delicious, sweet dessert wine), and Parmesan cheese. A quick trip to the store should get me my 'shrooms, wine, cream, and pasta, right?
The produce section was first. 3/4 of a pound of Shitake mushrooms. Check.
Off to the pasta aisle. Hmmm. No Ziti. What the hell is Ziti, anyway?
Enter the iPhone.
After a quick Google of "ziti", I see that it is basically a tubular pasta. What a minute. This recipe calls for ziti, specifically, when I just as easily could have used tortiglioni, mini tortiglioni, sedanini rigati, sedani rigati, rigatoni, penne, mini penne rigate, mezze penne rigate, pennette lisce, penne lisci, pennette rigate, penne rigate, tortigliona dopie rigatura, penne tortigliona rigatura, canneroni, mezze maniche rigate or pennonni lisci. Those crazy Italians.... All in all, close to ten minutes was spent looking for, and looking up, the needed pasta.*
After checking the iPhone checklist, I realized "Woah...wrong mushrooms". Baaaaaack to the produce section. Hmmmmm, no Crimini mushroom. Oh, they had Shitaki, Portobello, and a whole ton of other goodies, but no Crimini. I didn't need the produce people......
Enter the iPhone.
After a quick Google of "crimini mushroom", I see that criminis are basically portobellos, but smaller. Obviously, the people that named the mushrooms went to school in Italy. Oh hell no, they can't call them "big portobellos" and "little portobellos" or "portobellos - we don't care about the size and you shouldn't either". No, that would be too easy. Two different names for the basically the same fungus. Whatever.
Fortunately, the bottle of Marsala was easier to find. Granted, I think I found the last bottle, hiding amongst the ports, but hey, I found it. 30 minutes later, after what should have been a 10 minute trip, I was home.
The recipe is a total keeper. Easy to make, tastes absolutely awesome, and yields a ton of leftovers. Win. Win. Win.
Plus, I now know what I am looking for in the store. Thank goodness for the iPhone. Scavenger hunts are so bad when you are well armed.....
* I was caving in to tradition here. We all know pasta is the same, but I was having fun. The traditionalists say that tubes hold cream and noodles carry tomatoes.