Aired June 23, 2014
2 large mild red peppers (such as field peppers, red frying peppers or bell peppers – look for peppers that are long and almost rectangular in shape rather than round, small Holland peppers)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon caraway seed, 1/3 palmful
1 teaspoon cumin seed
1 1/2 pounds cremini mushrooms, sliced 1/4-inch thick or 8 portobello mushroom caps, gilled and halved then sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 medium to large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
2 rounded tablespoons good quality sweet paprika, 2 palmfuls
1 rounded tablespoon smoked paprika, a palmful
1/2 cup dry sherry
2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 15-ounce can petite diced tomatoes
1 pound extra-wide egg noodles or egg tagliatelle
3 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup combined parsley, dill and chives, chopped
1/2 cup crème fraiche
Char peppers over an open flame or under a hot broiler and blacken skins evenly all over. Place in a bowl, cover and cool to handle. Peel skins and seed peppers, quarter them lengthwise and slice 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick.
Heat deep skillet or large Dutch oven over medium-high heat with 3 tablespoons olive oil, 3 turns of the pan. Add caraway and cumin, and stir 30 seconds; add mushrooms and brown until very tender and beefy in aroma. Add onions, garlic, salt, pepper, herbs and paprika, and cook partially covered 6-7 minutes more to soften onion, stirring frequently. Add sherry to deglaze the pan then stock and tomatoes. Reduce heat and simmer gently until ready to serve.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the egg noodles. When the water boils rapidly, add salt and noodles or pasta and cook to al dente. Reserve 1/3-1/2 cup starchy water just before draining. Drain noodles or pasta and return to pot. Toss noodles or pasta with pasta water, butter, herbs, salt and pepper.
Stir crème fraiche into paprikash and remove from heat. Serve paprikash over a bed of herb egg noodles or pasta.