Christmas Fettuccine

12 oz fresh fettuccine

1 bunch broccoli, stems removed and cut into bite-sized pieces.

2 tablespoons butter

2 garlic cloves, minced

8 oz sliced wild mushrooms

5 oz fresh spinach

3 tablespoons flour

2 cups whole milk

1 cup vegetable broth

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

¼ teaspoon white pepper

½ teaspoon nutmeg

½ cup Parmesan cheese

¼ cup Romano cheese

8 oz fresh crab (optional)

4 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced

2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley

Before beginning, prepare all of the ingredients, as things move quickly.

In a large pot with a steamer insert, steam the broccoli for 8 minutes, or until tender. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until slightly wilted. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook for 1 more minute (the flour will clump a bit on the bottom of the pan and vegetables). Add the milk, broth, salt, peppers, and nutmeg, making sure to stir the bottom of the pan well. Cook for 6 more minutes, or until thick, stirring occasionally.

While the sauce is cooking, drain the steamed broccoli and add to the sauce. In the same pot, bring 1 quart of water and 1 teaspoon of salt to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions. Drain and keep warm.

When the sauce has thickened, stir in the cheese and crab (if using) and stir until the cheese has melted. Stir in all but ½ cup of the diced tomatoes. Serve the sauce over the pasta, and top with the remaining diced tomatoes and parsley.

Belle of the Kitchen