Party like one too. The recipe could also be called Penne with Mushrooms and Asparagus, but I figured that sounded about as enticing as pasta with vegetables. Pasta with drunk mushrooms, seemed to have a little more promise, but pasta is kinda like a party, which is sort of like the song which inspired the name of the dish. I will admit that I'm not one to apologize for every little mistake that I make, but I just could not resist calling this pasta recipe just what it is, cheesey or not. Albeit delicious. I insisted on preparing this dish, ages ago, much to my Mother's chagrin because she still used to nag me about dirtying the entire kitchen when I cooked (still do, but it's not her kitchen!). I found it in issue of InStyle Magazine, and I still had a tape-playing-walkman, and I obsessively memorized the phone numbers of friends, because it took too long to painstakingly flip through the pages of an address book. Hopefully that gives you an idea of the date of the magazine issue, as sad as it may be that I remember ridiculously useless details. Now I'm lucky if I even know the area code I'm dialing, since the invasion of the cell phone, but I am still making this pasta dish, which apparently used to be Ben Afflecks' favourite pasta (I know you're swooning, but I was always more of a Matt Damon fan). Apparently, Ben adored with a drizzle of white truffle oil over the top. At the time, I had most certainly never heard of truffle oil, but did recall that my grade eight science teacher went to France, tried a truffle (this is what he told us), and said he couldn't believe what a waste of money it was to eat mold. hmmmm.... then again this was the same science teacher who gave me an 8 out of 10 on a project which was supposed to benefit the environment in some way. Not knowing about the internet yet, and the year was 1991; I said that instead of newspapers, we should read the news on the computer because newspapers themselves were a waste of paper. So I proceeded to draw a little computer with the news on it. I was thirteen. I thought it was a good idea then, and now? Well, I am a tad perturbed, because at this point, I'm solidly believing it is a freaking fantastic idea! It's okay, I've gotten over it, and I like truffles too. In any case, back to the pasta. Penne is so common, and so are mushrooms, and asparagus. But with the nicest, pencil thin asparagus asparagus you can find, it is quite refreshing. But mushrooms with wads of butter, olive oil, and marsala? I lick my little chompers just thinking about it, because the resulting mushroom is full of lustrous delicious flavour. A nice spring pasta, especially good for entertaining. Pasta Like a Rock Star Adapted from InStyle Magazine, creator unknown (4-6 servings) 1-450 g package penne 3 tbsp butter 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 4 cups thinly sliced mushrooms 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots 4 cloves garlic, minced 1/4 cup dry white wine 1/4 cup chicken broth 2 tbsp dry marsala (or madeira) 1 bunch asparagus, cut to 3/4 inch pieces 1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs - flat-leaf parsley, tarragon, chives 1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano drizzle of white truffle oil (optional) 1. Bring to a boil a small pot, with 1 inch of boiling water. Add the asparagus for thirty seconds, only to blanch it briefly. Remove into a strainer, and briefly rinse with cold water just until cool. Set aside. 2. Cook the penne according to package directions, but more al dente than suggested (there is ample liquid in the sauce for it to absorb) Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water before draining. 3. Meanwhile, heat the butter and olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Once it is bubbling, add the mushrooms, and cook 5 minutes. Lower the heat, and add the shallots and garlic; cook 4-5 minutes until the shallots soften. 4. Add the wine, and cook until evaporated, 1-2 minutes. Add the chicken broth and cook until the mushrooms are tender and the pan is almost dry. Add the marsala, and salt. 5. Add the cooked penne, asparagus, reserved pasta water, chopped herbs, and parmigiano to the saucepan. Continue to cook until heated through, being careful not to overcook the pasta, but trying to have most of the liquid absorbed by it, 3-4 minutes (depending upon personal taste). Check for seasoning. Drizzle with white truffle oil, but truffle salt is nice too. Serve.