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Dave's Dinners: A Fresh Approach To Home-Cooked Meals
by Dave Lieberman

This is a fantastic vegetarian pasta because the meaty mushrooms are very satisfying. I like to spice up the sauce with red chili flakes, but you can leave those out. Presentation's a cinch. Just throw some shaved Parm on top, and you've got a beautiful rustic dish.
Serves 6

• 1 pound fettuccine
• Extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 large portobello mushrooms, stems removed, peeled, and sliced about 1/2 inch thick
• Salt
• 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
• About 10 dashes red chili flakes (optional)
• 1 bunch asparagus, bottom quarter trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces
• Parmesan, grana padano, or pecorino Romano cheese for shaving

In a large pot, cook the fettuccine in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and toss with olive oil to keep the pasta from sticking together.

Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large skillet over high heat.

Toss in the mushrooms, season with salt, and saute over high heat, browning evenly. Remove the mushrooms from the oil and set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic and chili flakes, if using. Cook garlic just a minute or so without browning it.

Add the asparagus pieces and cook until they are bright green and slightly softened.

Add the mushrooms back to the pan and toss together with the asparagus.

Season to taste with salt and toss with the pasta until heated through.

Transfer to serving plates and top with the shaved cheese.

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