Anna’s Creamy Mushroom Pasta
This is Anna.
When Anna she told me where she grew up, I had to hand her my pen and see it in writing: Jyväskylä. Where is this place that I cannot pronounce? In the centre of Finland, surrounded by lakes and more lakes and even more lakes. Maybe more lakes than you can imagine unless you, too, are from Jyväskylä.
Anna moved to Berlin a few months ago and really enjoys her time in this big, open, unconventional city. Before she moved to Germany, she lived in Finland together with her dog Nowa. What can I say about these two other than that they are the best of friends and inseparable? They go to work together (though mind that only one of them is working), walk to the park every day and cook romantic dinners (well, one of them is stirring, the other one is watching and in the end, one eats on the floor and the other at the table. Also, not both are vegetarian). But don’t let me get too side-tracked, this channel is supposed to be about people and their food and not about people and their dogs (however, I see a lot of potential there).
As you might have guessed, Anna is about to cook for us. For this reason, I took the liberty to interview her a little bit about her interest in food, her kitchen tricks and the dish she loves to cook. Are you curious? Good. Let’s go: Most of the recipes she cooks start with one ingredient: garlic. Anna simply adores garlic and therefore puts it in nearly everything. Do I agree with this? Absolutely. She tells me that she doesn’t measure things (as I notice while she’s cooking because she adds a little bit of this and a little bit of that without taking too much notice of grams or millilitres). She also shares with me that she doesn’t really plan meals, but instead goes to the supermarket, grabs some veggies, fruits, pasta, potatoes and starts cooking dishes that carry no famous name but should be famous nonetheless.
The dish she’s cooking for us today has a story that originates in a Finish forest far away. Now that she’s living in Berlin, this dish is a slightly different experience. You don’t know what I mean by that? Let me elaborate: in Finland, Anna only needs to walk to the edge of her garden to end up in the forest. There, she used to pick fresh chanterelles and mix them with pasta and cream. In Berlin, the forests aren’t connected to our balconies and fewer mushrooms roam around in the bushes. Instead, every fresh ingredient is wrapped in plastic and plastic and plastic again. You see the difference? I thought so. Anna was raised surrounded by nature and is proud of the flavourful food that is grown in the Finish soil, the nourishing ingredients that are generated by mother nature. At home, food is not fussed over, it is not turned into a big topic. Food is a necessity and remains simple – nature provides so much, no extravagance needed.
Something else she loves is potatoes, especially if kept basic – boiled, with butter and salt. She learned this down-to-earth style of cooking from her parents, who naturally pick fresh vegetables from their garden and cook with what the season offers. Anna tells me that usually, Finish families who live rurally have a plum tree, an apple tree and various berries growing wild. When she’s at home, she oftentimes goes for walks and picks fresh blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries straight from the bush to enjoy their fruity taste underneath the forest’s leaves. As she tells me all this, I am wondering how on earth she can bear to now live in a place together with 3.5 million other people. So I ask her:
Anna, don’t you miss all of that berry-filled nature around you? The lakes, the forests and the chanterelles?
You know, during the summer, I do miss it. To go out and feel the wind and not meet a single person along the way, just Nowa and me. But in the winter? I prefer the city. It gets lonely in the countryside. The forest is beautiful but at the same time, that’s all there is.
I learn from her that she is having a fantastic time in Berlin, though she does escape to nearby nature whenever she can. That’s why you won’t find her in the shopping mall but in the close-by forest Grunewald, potentially looking for fresh berries and chanterelles – next time, I’ll go with her and help her find them. Okay, okay, I wrote a lot today. It’s time for pasta!
Creamy Mushroom Pasta
Prep Time: 5 min
Cooking Time: 15 min
Total Time: 20 min
For this recipe you will need:
tagliatelle for two
3 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
100ml soy cream (or regular cream)
½ fresh chilli, chopped
herbed Himalaya salt
dash of white wine
Finish rye bread with butter
- Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package.
- Clean the mushrooms and cut into slices.
- In a frying pan, heat the olive oil. Slice the garlic and fry until golden-brown – this is when you will receive the first compliments for your cooking skills as the smell of fried garlic promises something scrumptious!
- Add the mushrooms and don’t stir too much to allow them to become tender. Add a dash of white wine, let simmer until the wine has evaporated and get hungry because we’re almost there!
- Add the soy cream, pepper, salt and chilli and allow to simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Serve the pasta on your favourite plate and top with the lovely, spicy, creamy mushrooms! Add some fresh basil and sip some of that white wine along with your gorgeous plate of pasta, if you wish.
- Anna happened to have some traditional Finish rye bread at home, so if you happen to have that in your cupboard (I know, a very likely possibility), serve a slice along with butter! ♥
And look who’s still here, waiting to be fed! She was lucky because Anna undeniably has a soft spot for these brown, begging eyes. Nowa, I hope you don’t prefer spaghetti over tagliatelle, cause that is all we have, my furry friend!
Anna and Nowa, this was splendid. Next time, let’s go and pick chanterelles in Finish forests.