Test Kitchen - Red Wine Pasta in Mushroom Steak Cream Sauce

The Test Kitchen ingredient last week was a red wine pasta (fettuccine more specifically) from Marche Noir foods of Blackmarket Bakery. Unlike other recipes online that mention red wine pasta but really just mean pasta cooked in red wine, this pasta is made from wine flour (crafted from the remains of winemaking grapes). It gives off a distinct scent when taken out of the packaging but even more so when boiling in water. I smelled the Cabernet right away and was oh-so-tempted to pour a glass of wine then and there. Unfortunately I was in a rush when I made this dish; I had to get back to laying laminate down in my little brother's room. Fun, right? Anyhow, I thought a bit about the red wine trait in the pasta and decided it needed something heavy (but not so heavy to mask its flavor) with it. Mushrooms and steak chunks it was! Check out my recipe for a very simple cream sauce to pair with red wine fettuccine I know you're going to pick up from Marche Noir.

Step 1: Ingredients (yields 2-3 servings)

  • 6 oz. red wine fettuccine
  • 1 tsp unsalted butter
  • 1 pkg mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb. steak cut of choice, 1/2" chunks
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp cornstarch, dissolved in hot water
  • parsley, roughly chopped to top
  • freshly ground black pepper, to top
  • white truffle salt, to top (optional)

Step 2: Prepping ingredients
For the pasta, it comes in a 12 oz. portion so you are free to cook the entire package if you'd like. I noted 6 oz. above in order to match the volume of sauce made. There are many ways to cook dried pasta, and I've tried several of them before. For the sake of using the ingredient for the first time, I followed the directions on the packaging which told me to boil heavily salted water before stirring in the pasta until al dente. Drain. While waiting for that to finish up, you can clean and slice up the mushrooms. Thinly slice garlic. For the beef, cut into small pieces for quicker cooking. Take milk out of the fridge to bring closer to room temperature.

Step 3: Making the sauce
In a large skillet, melt butter (I used a sage butter) and cook mushrooms. When the mushrooms have absorbed most of the butter, add in garlic and steak. Stir around for about a minute, which should be all it takes for your meat to get nearly cooked through, before adding in pepper, salt, and milk. Lower heat to low and stir constantly while sauce thickens. Dissolve cornstarch in hot water before adding to sauce to help thicken.

Step 4: Finishing
Once the sauce has finished, remove from heat. Serve pasta in appropriate portions and pour sauce over. Crack black pepper over it, throw on chopped parsley, and finish with white truffle salt if desired. Enjoy!

This week's Test Kitchen ingredient: yucca root
There didn't seem to be a proper way to take a picture of this in whole form without making it look a bit like a deuce. Sorry for the potentially unappetizing picture below BUT you can help me make it yummy by lending some ideas or requests on Facebook when this ingredient's picture goes up on there this afternoon. I haven't cooked with it before but I've definitely had it in tasty forms one way or another. Curious to see your ideas!

Photography by Minerva Thai.